Wed | Jul 18, 2018

Education Ministry awards top GSAT scholars

Published:Friday | June 22, 2018 | 12:00 AMEdmond Campbell/ Senior Staff Reporter
The Dunrobin Primary School top GSAT awardees from left: head girl Suri Ennis, Jamia Williamson, head boy Matthew Davis, Leamore Brown, Shevornae Edwards and Alyssa Cross. Also in the photo are teacher Irone Davis (back left) and principal Noel Watt (right). The GSAT awards, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, was held at The National Arena in Kingston yesterday.
From left: Zane Glenister (Emmanuel Christian Academy), Xiao Francis (Emmanuel Christian Academy), Shaniel Miles (Stella Maris), Minister of Education, Youth and Information Senator Ruel Reid, Kayla Wright (St Hugh's Prep), Jayden Clarke (Kensington Primary) and Joel Barnett (Meadowbrook Prep) at the GSAT awards held at the the National Arena in Kingston yesterday.
Proud dad Steven Gooden (left) looks on as his son, Nickarr Gooden, a GSAT Award recipient from Mona Preparatory School who will be attending Wolmer's High School for Boys, speaks with the Minister of education Ruel Reid at the GSAT awards held at the The National Arena on Thursday June 21, 2018
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Jayden Clarke was bubbling with excitement as he watched the proceedings at a ceremony to award students who registered exemplary performances in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) at the National Arena in Kingston yesterday.

The young, bright student of Kensington Primary journeyed with his principal, teachers, and fellow pupils from St Catherine to attend the ceremony to mark the end of the GSAT, which started in 1999.

Jayden, with the help of his teachers, had just put the finishing touches to the vote of thanks, which he gave on behalf of 1,000 students who were awarded for academic excellence. The Kensington top student was one of six youngsters who achieved perfect scores in the final GSAT.

But Jayden told The Gleaner that scoring straight hundreds in the five subjects was not an easy feat, noting that it meant that he had to make sacrifices. Jayden told our news team that he had to park his games and other devices and cut back on his outdoor activities.

"I am very excited. I am really happy. I made my teachers proud. I made my principal proud. I made by parents proud. I made myself proud," a confident Jayden said.

The 12-year-old GSAT achiever will begin his secondary education at Campion College in September.

Minister of Education Ruel Reid hailed the awardees, who comprised the final cohort of students to sit the GSAT, for their outstanding achievements. He encouraged parents to continue to play an active part in their children's education and urged the awardees to remain focused as they made the transition to high school.

"We big you up, the top 1,000 students from across Jamaica," declared Reid as he addressed the students, parents, and well-wishers who attended the ceremony.

In this year's GSAT, three boys and a similar number of girls received perfect scores.

Two attend Emmanuel Christian Academy, and the others are from St Hugh's Preparatory, Kensington Primary, Stella Maris Preparatory, and Meadowbrook Preparatory.