Rattled students ready to ace grade 3 test
Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer
Despite the recent violence-induced disruption of classes at schools in Kingston and St Andrew, administrators said teachers have managed to prepare students adequately for today's Grade Three Diagnostic Test.
Vice-principal of Windward Road Primary and Junior High, Noel Pennant, said teachers had to work long and hard to get students ready for the exam.
"They have been doing some extra work, particularly in the afternoons, to make up for the time they lost, and now I think their hard work will pay off because the students look prepared for the exam," Pennant told The Gleaner.
"They (teachers) have been doing what they have to do to make sure all loose ends were taken care of," he added.
Principal of Allman Town Primary School, Kandi-Lee Crooks-Smith, said the lost man-hours had not affected students there.
"We had finished the syllabus before the violence and so we were doing revision," she said.
Crooks-Smith explained, however, that the violence - which had its epicentre in Tivoli Gardens, west Kingston, late May and set back classes for a week - forced the school to reschedule a mock exam to last week. This unforeseen adjustment robbed teachers of the opportunity to address students' academic weaknesses.
"The mock exam, which was set for the same week that the violence occurred, had to be postponed to last week, and so the teachers didn't get enough time to identify the weak areas of the students, based on their performances on the exam, so that they could work with them to improve, but they will manage," she added.
Crooks-Smith said some of the students had been traumatised by the days-long gunfights between the security forces and thugs, which started on Labour Day. The school provided counselling and other support to students, said Crooks-Smith, which helped them recover.
Calabar Primary and Junior High headmaster Raymond Munroe said his students were on target, as they had completed the syllabus before the violence erupted.
He said much of the time since classes resumed was spent on revision.
The Grade Three Diagnostic Test, which was originally to be sat earlier this month, was rescheduled to today.
Students of schools in west Kingston will sit the exam late August.