JIS News

Thirty students from 11 primary and all-age schools in North Clarendon who gained the highest marks in their region in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), have been awarded bursaries by Horace Dalley, Member of Parliament for the area and Minister of Labour and Social Security.
The top three achievers have received $10,000 each and back-to-school packages, including schools bags and school supplies, while the other students have received bursaries of $5,000 each, in addition to gift packages of school bags and smaller packages of back-to-school items for the top 14 students.The function was held on Thursday, August 25, at Hotel Versalles in May Pen.
Heading the list of achievers was Laureen Williams from Aenon Town All-age School. In second place was Terry Ann Talbert from Kellits Primary School, while Bashewee Bartley from Kellits Primary placed third.
Laureen who will attend Manchester High School, will also receive assistance from local businessman, Henry Morant, owner of STOMO Ltd. He has pledged to pay the cost of her tuition for five years at high school and for sundry items.
In a JIS News interview, Minister Dalley said that this was the 16th annual event to honour the top 30 students in North Clarendon, and was intended to encourage young people, parents, principals and teachers to continue the good work they have been doing.
“The focus is on breaking the poverty level in Northern Clarendon and it can only be done through education. The focus is also on education as a developmental tool for our country to move forward and, for Northern Clarendon to move to a higher level. Education has to be my number one priority, my number two priority and my number three priority,” the Minister said.
A complementary project, known as the Northern Clarendon Educational Assistance Programme, has been established to provide assistance to students who qualify. The sums are $20,000 to $30,000 for those attending tertiary institutions; $10,000 to $15,000 for those attending teachers’ and community colleges, while high school students can access $5,000 to $10,000.
The funds are provided through the Social and Economic Support Programme (SESP), and are used by students to cover the cost of tuition, boarding or books.