Tue | Feb 25, 2020

Phillips to GSAT bright sparks: Steer wide of peer pressure

Published:Tuesday | August 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMCarlene Davis/Gleaner Writer
Dr Peter Phillips (right) presents SashaKay Robinson, a 2018 GSAT student, with financial assistance during a recent luncheon.
Dr Peter Phillips (sixth left) with students from the Maxfield Park division of his St Andrew East Central who performed well in the 2018 sitting of GSAT. Phillips presented them with financial awards.

Member of Parliament Peter Phillips has advised the top Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students from the Maxfield Park division of his St Andrew East Central constituency to be wary of peer pressure.

Phillips, who is also the leader of Opposition, was speaking to the students and their parents at a luncheon held in Kingston during the weekend. The 10 students were each awarded an undisclosed sum of money to assist with back-to-school preparation.

"Don't follow people; because a crowd is doing it, that doesn't mean it is right," Phillips advised the students.

"I remember when I was much younger than you, a group of students said they were going to steal out of school early, and I know it didn't make any sense, but I followed them, and a girl who was in the group got hit by a car while she was running across the road," he recounted.

"That taught me from then to follow my conscience. That voice inside of you that says, 'No, don't do this.' Listen to that voice," said Phillips.

The students, with averages from 69-96 per cent, and who listed zoologist and mathematician among their future career choices, were advised by Phillips to attain at least five passes at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certifi-cation level, including mathematics and English, to achieve their goals.


Open relationship


Phillips also encouraged parents to have an open relationship with their children and to participate as much as they could in their high-school journey.

"They really need a friend, and a guide that they can say anything to. The worst thing is for them to feel alone and as if they have no one, because they might turn to the wrong person.

"A child needs to know that you care. So, when they call for parent-teacher meeting, go to the meeting. Be involved in your child's life. Ensure homework is done, and be in touch with their teachers," counselled Phillips.