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Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Audrey Sewell, has appealed to students to take their education seriously, and play their part in the system as a responsible future generation.
“We have to go back to the days when we are taught to be responsible; when we are taught that there is a consequence for every action. Your teachers will be there to work with you to ensure that you get the best education that you deserve but, in the meantime, you need to do your part,” Mrs. Sewell said.
She was speaking at a Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) Scholarship Awards function hosted by the Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, St. Ann, at the Holiday Haven Resort in Runaway Bay on Thursday (August 26).
“We came up at the Ministry with a new policy for funding and we say, students, since obviously they do not understand that when five or four million dollars of taxpayers money go to waste it is significant, we have to start teaching them to become responsible,” Mrs. Sewell said.
She noted that even when the Government sought to assist with the fees for external examinations in some subject areas, some students fail to attend the examination sitting.
“The money is paid from November of the previous year that they would have sat the exam. They are not turning up; the absenteeism is very high and when we do further analysis, the pass rate for those subjects is very low,” she said.
Focusing on the new policy, she said that students would be required to perform, as it is now going to be an incentive driven scheme.
“Students are going to be taught that from Grade Nine they ought to be serious about their education, and moving into Grade Ten they are going to have to be more serious. So, by the time they are ready to sit their exam, the system would know that these are students who have demonstrated strong interest in their education and have worked hard,” Mrs. Sewell said.
She said that special cases would be given consideration, as the Ministry would seek to ensure that disadvantaged students (those from underserved communities) get special treatment.
She encouraged the recipients of the GSAT Scholarship awards not to allow themselves to be distracted when they enter the high school system, but to stay focused and work hard, so that they can achieve the best results.
A total of 60 students were awarded GSAT scholarships, valued at $25,000 each, by the Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners.

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