Student's hard work reaps great reward
Donneka Clarke, a student of Nonsuch Primary School in Portland, who despite being absent from school more often than she is present, managed to secure good grades in the recent Grade Six Achievement Tests (GSAT). For her efforts, she will be receiving much needed assistance.
Clarke come from a humble home. Her mother is a housewife and her father is unemployed. The family lives in arguably the most depressed community in Eastern Portland.
Clarke's success in GSAT appears to have touched the hearts of many including businessman Julian 'Bullet' Walker, and Keith Schrouder, a Jamaican living in Canada.
"Her success is more than an inspiration to many, "said Schrouder.
"From what I have read, this child attended school quite irregularly, but somehow managed to secure a place to Titchfield High, which is the top school in the parish. This is a remarkable achievement and I was so touched that tears flowed down my cheeks. I said to myself, I really have to reach out to this little girl and to see how best I can assist," said Schrouder.
Schrouder, who was recently in the island for a three week visit, told Rural Xpress that contact was made with the high school's principal, Marlise Adiansingh, to discuss how best to go about providing the student with lunch money, amounting to $500 per day, and bus fare, so that she would be a lot more punctual during her stint in high school.
Efforts are also being made to get Clarke on the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH), which is also funded by the World Bank. PATH is aimed at providing cash benefits to the most vulnerable and needy.
Clarke's grades were: Mathematics 58, Science 80, Social Studies 80, Language Arts 72, and Communication Task 11 for an average of 75 per cent.
"I am so happy for the help that she has gotten," Adiansingh said.
"Mr Walker donated uniform, and other items to the student, which will go a far way in easing the burden on her parents, who simply cannot afford it as they are living way below the poverty line. It is a good gesture on the part of both men, who are displaying a caring type of attitude, something that has been missing in our society for too long," she added.