MONTEGO BAY — Sixty one students from schools in St. Ann were recently awarded for their outstanding performance in the 2011 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
The awards ceremony, hosted by Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, was held on August 9 at the Runaway Bay Heart Hotel, where the awardees were presented with certificates and scholarship grants of $25,000 each, to assist with back-to-school expenses.
Speaking at the ceremony, Chief Education Officer in the Ministry of Education, Grace McLean, congratulated the students on their achievement, and urged them to continue on a path to even greater success.
“Today is your day and it is very important that you recognise that what you have been doing over the last five or six years, it has started to pay off and it will continue to pay off. I want you to understand that your entire life is before you. You can be anything that you want to be once you are willing to take the risks,” Mrs. McLean told the students.
She pointed out that the students would be expected to work even harder than they did at the primary level.
“You are going to be competing with many others from different schools who might be performing even better than you are, so you will have to work diligently, so that you can keep on par or even do better than others. Never underestimate any of your classmates, because while some of us are sleeping, others are working through the night and preparing themselves,” she said.
Mrs. McLean encouraged the students to take proactive steps and prepare themselves to tackle the high school subjects.
Turning to the parents, she called on them to provide the right guidance for their children. “It does not matter your profession or your status, the Lord has entrusted you with the lives of these children, so train your children well. We have to go back to the days when the community would assist the school. We will have to work together, so that we can save a generation,” she said.
She commended Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners on the work they have been doing in the community.
Operations Director at Noranda Jamaica Bauxite Partners, Delroy Dell, said the company is pleased to assist the students in St. Ann at all levels of the education system.
“We do believe that by recognising the students for their outstanding performance, it is one of the most important steps that we can take in assisting the education process,” Mr. Dell said, and pledged the company’s continued support to the scholarship programme.
Award recipients, Aunjet Walton and Aunjanet Walton said they were very proud of their achievement and thanked the company for the back-to-school assistance.
“I feel absolutely happy that I received this award and I just want to thank the dear Lord Jesus and also my grandmother for helping me to succeed in it,” Aunjet said.
His twin sister, Aunjanet said she was very happy that she will be attending her school of choice, St. Hilda’s Diocesan High, noting that the hard work that she had put into her studies really paid off.
By ALDEEN CAMPBELL, JIS Reporter