GSAT results bring despair and jubilation
Jermaine Francis, Staff Reporter
A mother desperately tries to console her daughter after receiving her Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) results.
The little girl's eyes are red from crying and her sobbing becomes louder as other classmates at St Richard's Primary School jump in jubilation, clearly overjoyed with their results.
The mother becomes angry, clutches her daughter to her bosom and starts shouting that the results are unfair because her daughter had scored excellent grades but was not placed in a school of her choice.
It seems this little girl is not one of the 28,562 of the 42,268 GSAT students who Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said were placed in their preferred schools.
The mother-and-daughter pair was just one of the many families converging on the St Richard's Primary School playing field yesterday, reacting to the 2013 GSAT results.
As the woman pulls her daughter closer to her, another mother and father close by are showering their daughter, Kristen Williams, with kisses.
Kristen's scores - 90s in four subjects and a perfect score in communication task - were good enough to secure her a spot at her first choice, Immaculate Conception High.
At Half-Way Tree Primary, students seemed unperturbed by their GSAT results. They were busy frolicking at their annual end-of-year school fair. The school's principal, Carol O'Connor, said the majority of the students performed above average this year and were placed in their preferred schools.
"We are satisfied with the results; no major disappointments this year. The students performed above average, getting scores in the high 80s with about 56 per cent being placed in traditional high schools," she said.
In contrast, the mood over at Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory was more subdued until a pint-size boy bolted into the principal's office to declare that he got into his first choice, Campion College.
Sekai Macaulay shouted, "I feel great, I can hardly contain my excitement", while giddily running outside to greet his equally elated mother, Bertina Macaulay.
At Windward Road Primary and Junior High School, Najae Leonard was already decked out in his Kingston College tie and basking in his mother's adoration.
He was one of several students who could not contain their elation over their results.
Natasha Lammie, Najae's mother, exclaimed, "He has done it! I'm a single mother who dropped out of high school at age 15 and I decided that my child would better my grades in school and I will not stop until he is successful."
On Wednesday, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites revealed that of the 42,268 students who did GSAT this year, 35,957 were placed in five-year high schools, while the other 6,311 were placed in technical high, primary and junior high, all-age, special and private schools.