JIS News

“I felt like Usain Bolt,” ward of the Rio Cobre Juvenile Correctional Centre in St Catherine, Jerome Gordon, said Thursday (August 27), in expressing his feeling of accomplishment for being successful in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination.
“He was in Berlin, Germany and I was in St Catherine, Jamaica [but] we felt the same in our individual achievements,” Jerome said, in making the comparison between his exhilaration, and how he imagined the Olympic and World champion felt when he broke records in the 100 and 200-metre races at the recent World Athletics Championships.
He is one of 11 wards at the institution who were successful in this year’s CSEC examination. Thirteen boys sat the Principles of Business, Principles of Accounts and Social Studies exams. The 11 who were successful were honoured Thursday, during an awards ceremony at the institution.
Jerome, who was also this year’s top achiever, said he and his fellow wards placed in the CSEC programme were apprehensive about the classes.
“We decided we would go to class, but they could not force us to learn,” he confessed.
Their apathy remained for much of the term, until they finally realised the golden opportunity that was being offered to them. The group faced many challenges during their courses, but they persisted and have been rewarded, he explained.
“We all felt a rush of pleasure; we had wings, we could fly, we had achieved and we took the limits off,” he said, as he recalled August 20 when the wards were informed of their performance.
Guest speaker at the function, Commissioner of Corrections, Mrs. June Spence-Jarrett, said the boys’ results have shown that there is still hope for children in juvenile correctional institutions.
“Although you find yourself in an institution such as this, all is not gone. All is not lost. There is still hope, because you can stay here and become who you want to be,” she declared.
She encouraged the other wards to follow the example of the successful boys, as they had a future beyond the institution.
The CSEC programme began in 2007, as a way to expand the educational offerings of the institution, which already has remedial and vocational programmes. The administrators say, since it began, passes have improved with several boys achieving distinctions.
During Thursday’s awards ceremony, several boys were also recognised for topping the various classes offered at the school, while others were honoured for their performance in the institution’s spelling competition.

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