Transitioning from primary to high school can be challenging for most children. As such, the Child Development Agency (CDA) used its recently held National Children Summit to host a special recognition and preparation session for over 100 children in State care who sat the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and who are moving on to high school. The event took place at the Jamaica Conference Centre.
Speaking during the session, Chief Executive Officer of the CDA, Rosalee Gage-Grey encouraged the awardees to stay focused, study hard and make good use of their high school experience.
“We are indeed proud of your achievements, and I want to urge you to continue to put your shoulders to the wheels and strive for greatness. I have no doubt that you will all do well in high school because you have the ability,” she said.
Also addressing the youngsters, Chairman of the CDA’s Advisory Board, Mrs. Maxine Henry-Wilson told them that they could achieve anything in life, but added that they had to be determined and disciplined in order to be successful.
“We all have talents and strengths, and so we must focus on developing them. Start thinking positive about school and just give it your best shot, because whatever your minds conceive, you can achieve. Focus on what you want in life, and work towards achieving your goals, because your journey begins now,” Mrs. Henry Wilson said.
Meanwhile, Principal Director for the Planning and Development Division at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM), Mrs. Alison Anderson-McLean in her remarks, charged the delegates to take their education seriously, maintain a good average at school, and also get involved in extracurricular activities.
“Ensure that you study hard and get good grades, because each time you get a good grade, it is carrying you closer to where you want to be. Although sometimes you will be disappointed with some of your results, but remember that with success comes failure. If that happens, just pick yourselves back up and do your best,” she said.
She also reminded them that high school was not a lifetime experience, and that it only lasted for five years, advising that upon entering, they should get into the habit of studying to be able to do well.
“You don’t get a second chance at high school, so if you wasted all those five years by trying to fit in and not focusing on your studies, you can never regain it. It is much harder than primary school, because there are a lot more subjects to do, but if you schedule your time wisely, you can do it easily,” she said.
Meanwhile, President of the National Secondary Students Council, Charles Young, who is also the former CDA Children’s Advisory Panel Chairperson, encouraged the delegates to appreciate the value of education, and be well-rounded individuals, ready to make a change for a better Jamaica.
“Do the things you think you cannot do. Get involved in social activities in schools and in your communities which will help to strike a balance in your lives, because hard work and no play makes Jack and Gill dull boys and girls,” Mr. Young said.
Relating her high school experience, CAP member, Shennie Finlayson told the GSAT delegates to develop a good frame of mind, and push themselves to excel academically.
“You have to tell yourselves that you can do it, and once you tell yourselves that, you will. There will be a lot of challenges, but you have to find a way to overcome them. You are all winners, and you have the potential to be anything you want in life, so reach for the stars,” Miss Finlayson said.
During the session, the children were also given the opportunity to ask the panelists questions about high school experience from which they received some valid responses as a means of support.
They also received back to school packages, consisting of books and other supplies, and were also inspired by a performance from singer, Jasmine Barnes.
A total of 113 children sat the GSAT and were placed in high schools across the island.
Contact: Jeneva Gordon