Tue | May 23, 2017

GSAT Success Marred by Location Issues

Published:Friday | June 26, 2015 | 6:00 AM
GSAT top achiever at Bridgeport Primary School, Dannell Smith and father Marlon Smith.
It was sheer jubilation for teacher Joan Antonio (left) as she got news that her student, Dannell Smith, scored perfect scores in the Grade Six Achievement Test and was named the top-performing student at Bridgeport Primary school on Monday, June 22, 2015.
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Bridgeport Primary School in Portmore, St Catherine, was proud to report that its own Dannell Smith received a perfect score in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT). Dravid Matthews and Darren Harvey were the next highest achievers, scoring 99.6 per cent and 99.4 per cent respectively.

The sixth-grade trio attributed their success to hard work on their part and that of their teachers. All of them devoted a tremendous amount of time to their studies, they said. Dravid shared how his father "[brought] me to work, where I was far away from my [answer] books..."

For their teacher, Joan Antonio, "I put my heart and soul into [teaching] ... . "We're here during holidays... Christmas, Saturdays - I'm here."

All the children were very excited with their results. Dannell, who will be attending Immaculate Conception High School, told The Gleaner about her reaction to finding out her scores: "I cried, of course." Dravid laughed as he remembered his reaction. "I started singing songs I didn't even remember." And Darren, a Campion-bound student, was "quite happy" but wasn't surprised because "I knew I was doing good in school".

However, despite these students' success at the GSAT, not all will be able to easily attend their new school come September. Dannell, who lives in Greater Portmore, expressed unease over actually reaching Immaculate in the mornings. "[My family] hasn't set up an arrangement yet," she confessed.

Unable to attend

Dravid, too, has encountered problems in the wake of his GSAT examination. Despite passing for St George's College, his "dream school", the current Bridgeport resident cannot attend because his family is moving to Manchester. Instead, Dravid will be attending Munro College as a boarding student.

"I have to board there, so it isn't like I have to pay bus fare every day [to get to school]," stated Dravid. He revealed that, leading up to the exam, he told himself: "I'm going to pass for George's."

While his disappointment was palpable, he, and the other top achievers, are sure to find success regardless of which high school they choose to attend.

- George Tomblin