Gareth Davis Sr, Gleaner Writer
BUFF BAY, Portland:
THE COMMUNITY of Kildere in Buff Bay, Portland, is still celebrating the outstanding achievement of two of their own who acquired government scholarships in the recent Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
Boasting averages of 98.6 per cent and 97.6 per cent, respectively, Tehirah Robinson and Kadian Gordon are two of the bright prospects who emerged as top performers from among thousands of other students in the east rural parish who also sat the GSAT.
"We expected all our students to do well, but to have two of our students securing government scholarships in a national exam is a plus," said Michael Aiken, principal of the Gideon Educational Centre, located in Kildere, Buff Bay. "The many hours of hard work put out by teachers and parents really paid off. We have had our challenges, but God has been kind to us. All 22 students did very well in the recent GSAT, and this school and the community residents are proud of their achievements," Aiken added.
Robinson's scores on the GSAT were 97 per cent in mathematics, 99 per cent in social studies, 100 per cent in science, 97 per cent in language arts, and 100 per cent in communication task for an average of 98.6 per cent.
Gordon achieved 97 per cent in mathematics, 100 per cent in social studies, 92 per cent in science, 99 per cent in language arts, and 100 per cent in communication task for an average of 97.6 per cent.
The students were greatly assisted by grade six teacher Michelle Desgoutte, who, during the lead-up to GSAT, spent several hours preparing them physically, mentally, and academically.
"The students were eager to do well. Of course, that made my job a little easier," says Desgoutte. "Yes, we were way short of resources, but we resorted to creative and unconventional means in ensuring that the programme we have in place would become a success. We love what we do here and we are committed to ensuring that they get a good and sound education," she adds.
Treat them as our own
Nadia Carby, a teacher who is in charge of kindergarten, also assisted with the grooming and preparation of the GSAT students.
"We treat them as our own. Once you have established and shown them love and that you really care for their well-being, then you would have won their trust and confidence," relates Carby. "We are like a family here at Gideon Educational Centre, and we bond together."
Robinson, who will be attending Saint Mary High School in September, says her ambition is to become an executive chef, while Gordon says she wants to become a public health inspector. Both students have been placed at the school of their choice.
Continuing, Aiken said, "We are now on a high, and come next GSAT, we are expecting that perhaps six of our students will achieve what these two students have done. The bar has been raised, and it is good to see that students, despite the challenges and limited resources, are still able to perform at their highest academically."
Robinson received the Jamaica Government Scholarship for Portland, along with the Dr Ainsley Deer Most Excellent GSAT Performer trophy from her school. Gordon received the Jamaica National Building Society Scholarship for Portland, which is awarded to the top performer in each parish who has not already been awarded a scholarship. Gordon also received the Dr Noel and Fay Aiken Strive for Excellence trophy from her school.
CAPTION: Seated, from left: GSAT scholarship winners Tehirah Robinson and Kadian Gordon pose with proud teachers and parents from the Gideon Educational Centre in Buff Bay, Portland. From left are principal, Michael Aiken; Tehirah's mom, Althea Raikes Robinson; Kadian's mom, Rosemarie Smith; and GSAT teacher, Michelle Desgoutte.