Back-to-school grants awarded to 135 outstanding students
One hundred and thirty five students from the West Central St Catherine constituency started the new school year with more than just smiles after being awarded bursaries and trophies ahead of the start of school this week.
During a special awards ceremony, hosted by Member of Parliament (MP) Dr Christopher Tufton and held in the constituency on September 3, Tufton applauded the students for their hard work and sent them with off grants, gadgets, accolades and encouragement.
"This ceremony is really an opportunity to award the hard work of the students and encourage them ahead of the new school year. Our students have done very well and we are extremely proud of them; we just want to motivate them going forward," Tufton said following the ceremony, held at the Watermount Open Bible Church.
The MP awarded the students with bursaries to assist with school expenses, and trophies for their outstanding performances. The 26 outstanding Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) students also received tablets, courtesy of the Universal Service Fund, an agency under the Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology. They also shared a $300,000 GSAT bursary from the MP.
DeAndre Gordon of Wakesfield Primary was awarded the prize for GSAT top boy and overall top student with an average of 96 per cent. He was awarded a trophy and $10,000 as well as a tablet. Kades Reynolds, also from Wakesfield Primary, and Makada Thomas from Brown's Hall Primary tied for the top girl spot with an average of 95 per cent.
One hundred and nine tertiary students from the constituency also shared $2.18 million in bursaries towards their tertiary expenses.
"While the bursaries are obviously important to help with the financial burden of getting a tertiary education, we wanted to use this opportunity to encourage the young people going off to college that we are behind them 100 per cent and will continue to support them and their dreams. They are our future and we must all work together to ensure a good future for Jamaica," Tufton said.
Guest speaker Dr Andrew Wheatley, minister of science, energy and technology, shared that the constituency was granted approval for four Wi-Fi hotspots to be set up in the constituency to provide Wi-Fi access to residents.
"This is a partnership that we are very proud of. We are on a drive to get rural Jamaica connected and these access points will do just that. The children will be able to access the Internet, in particular the Ministry of Education website, which has what we call a central repository for education material which houses the education material that children can use to facilitate the learning process," Wheatley said.
The hotspot will also serve as ICT skills training centres to help community members create employment for themselves.