'They should perform wherever they go'
LINSTEAD, St Catherine:
For some administrators of preparatory and primary institutions in St Catherine, students' preparations to accept the results of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) are as important as preparing them to perform outstandingly.
"From time to time, in and out of class, we always give them motivational talks. We try to inspire them and try to get them prepared for the end result. We try to get them in the frame of mind that no school is better than the other; it's not the school that you pass for, but what you go there to do," explained Marcia Garricks, vice-principal, St Dominic's Preparatory in Linstead.
She said, over the years, this approach has had a positive impact on students.
"So far, we have not really had any great disappointments. Our students are always happy with the passes," she said, noting that 12 students sat the exam this year.
For Garricks, zoning and testimonials have also figured prominently in preparing the students to better accept the schools where they are placed.
"There are times when we even go for references. For example, there was an instance when a student wanted to go to a traditional high school and was placed at an upgraded high school, and he went on to become the head boy of that institution. So we use instances like those, too," she noted.
Like Garricks, Gloria Johnson, principal, Linstead Primary and Junior High School, said the importance of zoning is often highlighted when preparing the students for the end result.
"Our students are prepared to accept the decision of the Ministry of Education. They were given choices, and proximity was one of the criteria for choices, and many of them have fallen in love with the schools in and around Linstead. So if they are given places at any of these schools, I am of the view that they will accept it," said Johnson.