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August Town GSAT students triumph through gun battles

Published:Thursday | June 14, 2018 | 12:00 AMJason Cross/Gleaner Writer
Sanjay Manley (centre), senior teacher at August Town Primary School, pose with Dijon Jackson (left) and Esther Sparkes, two of his students who excelled in the recent GSAT despite the frequent flare up of violence in the August Town community.

Despite having their studies interrupted several times because of violence, since the start of the year, grade six students at the August Town Primary School in St Andrew have triumphed in the March 2018 sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).

According to the police Corporate Communications Unit, 10 murders were committed in the August Town community as a result of gang rivalry since the start of this year.

Students and teachers were basking in joy when The Gleaner visited the school yesterday. Head Boy Dijon Jackson, who will attend St George's College in Kingston come September, said that even under violence-torn conditions, he found GSAT easy.

"It wasn't hard. The violence didn't really affect me. But I think, in general, that it is unfair to us kids. It is a distraction, and some students can't study properly. I would love to just see peace," Jackson said.

Head Girl Esther Sparks, who was placed at Immaculate Conception High in St Andrew, said that despite the upsurge in violence, she managed to study well.

"It was kind of easy. I studied and already anticipated what was coming. The violence didn't really affect me. I just ignored it. Mommy and Daddy told me not to worry because I have God," Sparks related.

Senior teacher Sanjay Manley is proud of the performance of his students.

"I am really proud of them because they did well under the conditions this year. I salute them for it. This year was a challenge because when the violence started, it affected us in such a way that for weeks, we could not have extra lessons. We had to send the kids home because it was unsafe. We didn't allow that to daunt us, though," recounted Manley.

The overall average of the 76 students who sat GSAT at the school was 89.6%.


GSAT Scores


Dijon Jackson

Mathematics: 87%

Science: 93%

Social Studies: 93%

Language Arts: 90%

Communication Task: 10 out of 12

Esther Sparks

Mathematics: 96%

Science: 93%

Social Studies: 95%

Language Arts: 96%

Communication Task: 12 out of 12