Joy as 86 per cent of PEP students get a school of choice

THEIR long hours of studying and attending extra classes have finally paid off.

Now, the students who sat this year’s Primary Exit Profile (PEP), as well as their parents, couldn’t be more thrilled with their placements as they embark on their secondary school journey.

The results of the individual performance of students were made available at 2:00 pm on Friday.

Thirteen-year-old Thalia Evans of Padmore Primary School in St Andrew expressed much joy about being placed at St Andrew High School for Girls.

“I am excited and really happy. I made my parents and my family proud,” Thalia told the Jamaica Observer.

Her father, Steve Evans, was equally pleased.

“Words cannot be found, I am proud. I’m glad for her — especially since it was one of her top choices,” he said.

Another parent, Kenisha Dunkley who is the mother of 11-year-old Kedijah Murray of Victoria Primary School in Clarendon, was happy with her daughter’s results.

“I am very proud because I know she has been working hard, and for her to get her first choice is a blessing. I am looking forward to greatness,” said Dunkley.

Murray, head girl at her school and who will be heading to Knox College, meanwhile said, “I am so happy because it was the school that I dreamed of going when I was younger.”

This year’s results, which were announced by Minister of Education and Youth Fayval Williams at a press conference on Friday, were obtained from the 2022 Grade 5 Performance Task done and the 2023 Grade Six Ability test, performance task and curriculum-based tests components.

A total of 36,105 students — 18,452 males and 17,653 females — were registered to sit the examinations. Of that number, 86 per cent were placed at one of the five schools of their choice.

For mathematics the data showed that 8.4 per cent were females while 6.8 per cent were males with high-proficiency passes, while for language arts 7.7 per cent were females, while 4.9 per cent were males.

“Girls outperforming boys in mathematics tells that it is something [about which] we have to redouble our efforts… to bring our boys up while we continue to support our girls,” said Williams.

For science, data revealed that 11 per cent of females received high-proficiency passes while 10.5 per cent were males; and for social studies, 2.2 per cent of the females and two per cent of the males received high-proficiency scores.

Meanwhile, top-performing student at Constant Spring Primary and Junior High School in St Andrew Roniah Jule was ecstatic about attending Ardenne High School.

“I am feeling great. I am looking forward to doing my best in high school so I can attend college,” said told the Observer.

Her mother, Peter-Gay Barnett, described preparation for examinations as a “long journey of hard work”.

“I am feeling awesome. She had extra lessons from Sunday to Sunday and she did put in the work and did her best. Her dad, Rodney Jule, and I as well as her teachers were there 100 per cent to support her. I just hope I can get a scholarship for her to attend high school,” she said.

At the same time, Chloe Johnson from Liberty Learning Centre in St Mary, who has big dreams of being a paleontologist, is overjoyed about going to Immaculate Conception High School.

“I worked hard and achieved something that was on my bucket list. I want to explore news things and experience different learning methods and programmes to achieve my goals,” she said.

Her mother, Las-Sandra Williams, said, “I am elated. Going to high school, there is a lot of peer pressure and I just want her to know that as long as she believes in herself, her parents have her back 100 per cent.”

— Additional reporting by Gabrielle Foreman.