Wed | Dec 6, 2023

28 top PEP students receive laptops

Published:Tuesday | December 7, 2021 | 9:54 AM
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams (left), presents a laptop computer to the top-performing girl for the parish of Westmoreland in the 2021 Primary Exit Profile (PEP), Jaden Drummond. The occasion was the Universal Service Fund (USF) PEP presentation ceremony held at the Altamont Court Hotel in New Kingston, recently. Looking on is Chief Executive Officer, USF, Daniel Dawes - Contributed photo.

Hard work and diligence have paid off for 28 students, who were recently recognised by the Universal Service Fund (USF) for outstanding performance in the 2021 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations.

The top-performing students, one boy and one girl from every parish, were each presented with a laptop computer by USF to assist them in virtual learning, which has become necessary due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The presentation took place during a ceremony at the Altamont Court in New Kingston recently.

In an interview with JIS News, Maleek Simpson, who is the top boy for Clarendon, expressed delight.

He noted that he was surprised by the recognition.

“I didn't expect it at all,” he said.

Sharing his preparation strategy leading up to the examinations, which took place in May, Maleek said that he placed a lot of emphasis on revision.

“Sometimes it was stressful because I studied a lot, like late nights and early morning,” he shared.

A former student of Knox Junior School, Maleek is currently enrolled in his first-choice institution – Knox College.

He said that selecting Knox College was the continuation of a family tradition, as most of his relatives attended the institution.

The aspiring engineer encourages students to work hard and remain committed to their studies.

“Work hard because it is going to pay off some day. Someone might recognise what you are doing and give you a scholarship,” he said.

Expressing pride in her son's accomplishment, Fiona Carter-Simpson shares that she provided all the resources needed to ensure that Maleek would have been adequately prepared for the examination.

“I am elated, super excited. In terms of preparation… there were times when I thought he should be studying but he was otherwise minded, but then overall, I realised that it paid off, and I am just really proud of him,” she told JIS News.

Similarly, top female performer for the parish of Westmoreland, Jaden Drummond, who attends the St James-based Mount Alvernia High School, said that several factors contributed to her success.

“I feel very happy. I remember just taking notebooks and looking over the notes that the teacher gave us, along with doing some activities that were in the textbooks that we hadn't gone through and my father explaining the stuff to me.

“We also got a whiteboard and some markers so he could actually show me diagrams that he worked out [problems] on the board and that helped me to understand things even better,” shared the graduate of New Horizon Preparatory.

Camray Drummond told JIS News that he is overjoyed with his daughter's results.

He noted that in light of the pandemic, extra hours were devoted to assisting Jaden to ensure that she comprehended the material.

“It was a lot of hours doing homework… it took quite a bit; you …didn't have teachers being around all the time so you, as a parent, had to become a teacher and I am really very, very happy.

“We came all the way from Westmoreland [for the awards ceremony]… . We got up early, but it was worth the drive and I was very ecstatic. Family members are also very happy with the success,” he shares.

Drummund is encouraging parents and guardians to be supportive of their children and assist them as much as possible, so that they can achieve their full potential.

“For other parents out there, just be a part of your child's life; encourage them, push them to be the best that they can be and they will get the results,” he said.

In congratulating the top performers, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz, urged them to set big goals for themselves, apply themselves to their studies, aggressively pursue their dreams and never settle for mediocrity.

“We are proud of your achievements thus far. Your work has proven that you are capable and have potential and ability to change not just your life but also transform this nation,” Vaz said.

Follow The Gleaner on Twitter and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at or