Demar Hines, Nekorah Grey awarded as St James Southern’s PEP stars
Demar Hines and Nekorah Grey have shone brightly to make their home constituency of St James Southern proud, having respectively become the constituency’s top-performing boy and the top-performing girl in this year’s Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examination.
Hines, 12, and Grey, 11, were among 108 primary and preparatory school students who were recognised and awarded for excellence in the PEP exams, during the fifth annual staging of the St James Southern High Achievers’ Awards Ceremony at Mt Carey Baptist Church in Mt Carey, St James, on Wednesday, August 3.
Hines, a student of Vaughansfield Primary School who got an overall score of 382.6 in the PEP exam, was somewhat reserved in expressing his feelings. However, he made it clear that he was pleased with his performance.
“I feel very excited and happy, because my hard work and my mom’s hard work has paid off,” said Hines, who will be matriculating to Herbert Morrison Technical High School and is still contemplating his future career choice.
Hines’ mother, Melissa Willoughby, was much more vocal in praising her son’s success, attributing it to the time they spent together to prepare him for his exams.
“I am always at school with him. If there is a parent-teacher meeting, or if the teacher calls me for something, I am always there, and I am always assisting with assignments and projects. If I am away at work, I always remind him to do some revision,” said Willoughby.
Meanwhile, Grey, a student of Anchovy Primary School, credited her success to the help she got from her family and her teachers.
“I am very happy and I am also very proud of myself, because all of the hard work I have put in, and the hard work my mother and teachers have put in, has paid off,” said Grey, who will attend Montego Bay High School and aspires to become a criminal defence lawyer.
Hines and Grey, along with their fellow awardees, will each receive $10,000 in cash and an additional $10,000 in book vouchers, as part of the education-support thrust being spearheaded by St James Southern Member of Parliament Homer Davis.
During his address at Wednesday’s function, Davis urged the 108 awardees to take full advantage of the educational opportunity being granted to them through the St James Southern High Achievers’ Awards Ceremony, which was launched in 2018 with 50 students.
“Let me challenge you, the awardees here today, to make the best use of this opportunity which is being afforded to you here. After all, you have worked hard in reaching this far, and I am sure that you are aware that the road ahead will be even more difficult as you enter the next phase of your education. It is a gift from us to you,” said Davis, who also announced that he will be spending $11.5 million on education support in his constituency this year.
Dr Michelle Pinnock, the regional director of the Ministry of Education’s Region Four office in western Jamaica, said that the students’ success in the PEP exams was because of the collaborative efforts of the involved stakeholders to include teachers and parents.
“The accomplishments of our youngsters was made possible because of team effort, and we laud all the persons involved, our school boards, our principals, our teachers, our staff members, our parents, and the persons who did most of the work, that being our students,” said Pinnock.