Sat | Sep 19, 2020

Kitson Town Primary surpasses expectations

Published:Friday | August 14, 2020 | 12:06 AMRuddy Mathison/Gleaner Writer

Evolving from a non-performing institution that was on the brink of closure, Kitson Town Primary School in St Catherine has made a dramatic turnaround and has honoured four of its top Primary Exit Profile (PEP) performers on Wednesday.

The tone of a ceremony put on by the past students association and the school to celebrate the achievements of Akeelah Hutchinson, Shanell Cavelije, Lesa Angus and Clive Williams, who were top achievers in the recent PEP examinations, was one of praise, admonition and encouragement.

Acting principal of the school, Janice Yates, said the journey to get to where 10 students emerged as Pathway One students and were placed at St Jago, Dinthill, Old Harbour, and Jonathan Grant high school, is a real reason to celebrate.

“In 2018, only one student met the standard in mathematics and science, and not one in language arts and social studies when they sat the grade-five performance task,” Yates revealed.

“So in 2019, when the next set of students took the baton, by then we had acquired one PEP book, we set the risograph machine to work with students to help them acquire the necessary skills,” she continued, adding that significant improvements were then observed.

With a high level of excitement in her voice, Yates disclosed that Angus, Hutchinson, Cavelije and Williams were proficient in four subject areas, with Angus highly proficient in science.

According to Yates, four other students were proficient in three subject areas, four in two, and five were proficient in one.

Guest speaker at the function, Permanent Secretary in the office of the Prime Minister and Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation, Audrey Sewell, admonished the students to set their sights on where they want to go in life and focus on their goals.

“We are here to celebrate excellence; we want to celebrate excellence in our children. This celebration is particularly significant because of the challenges that students, teachers, parents and the entire education system has been experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic.”

“Excellence is a drive from within. It is not for someone else to notice, but it is for your benefit; so aim for excellence and keep your eyes on the prize,” Sewell implored, addressing the students and an audience restricted to 25 persons as a result of adherence to COVID-19 protocols.

The four top achievers were awarded plaques, gift bags, and $20,000 each to assist them with their back-to-school preparations. Digicel Foundation, in addition to their sponsorship, gave tablet computers and phone credits to each students.

Another sponsor, businessman and university lecturer Vinroy McBean, pledged his support to the school going forward, after Yates publicly requested assistance in the form of tablets and other devices to assist students in their quest to learn.