GSAT joy and sorrow


Friday, June 20, 2014

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SCREAMS of joy and tears of disappointment from both students and parents marked the release of Grade Six Achievement Test results yesterday afternoon.

But the contrasting emotions were preceded by prolonged anxiety, especially among scores of parents who flooded the nation's primary and preparatory schools yesterday afternoon to await the results.

"I've been here since six this morning," said Marsha Boucher, a parent at Half-Way-Tree Primary School.

Boucher and other parents waited outside the school gates while children sat impatiently in their classrooms, anxiously peering through the windows awaiting the arrival of the results which did not get to the school until after 2:00 pm.

"Ah the longest 2:30 this fi school ova," one party was overheard saying.

Glenda-Gaye Campbell told the Jamaica Observer she would have had another sleepless night if the results were not released yesterday.

The father of a female student, when asked how he was feeling, said: "I am anxious to hear... but it doesn't matter where she goes, whether traditional or not, I will still give her love and support."

The school was made aware of the arrival of the results when students on the Grade Six block made an uproar as the principal's car drove onto the compound. Shortly after, school was dismissed, the gates were opened and parents rushed upstairs to wait with their children.

Among the first students to receive their results were head girl Nysha Johnson, who was placed at Immaculate Conception High, her first choice, and head boy Jordan Vickers, who earned a place at Campion College. Nysha said she was crying before the results arrived, but was happy when she heard where she was going. She then ran off screaming to congratulate her classmates.

Reacting to the news, Jordan said: "I'm feeling very excited... almost unbelievable."

However, some students were disappointed with their placement. One boy, after receiving his result, picked up his bag and immediately left the room, glancing at the elated children in disgust.

A girl sat in a corner by herself crying after she heard she would not be going to Merl Grove High School.

At Dunrobin Preparatory, the schoolyard was filled with excited parents and students.

One parent greeted the Observer waving a maroon and gold flag, rejoicing that her son had been placed at Wolmer's Boys' School.

Haley Clarke-Scotland, another parent, said: "I never expected to be anxious... my own reaction surprised me. I cried, I really cried." Her son, Dale Scotland, is to go to Jamaica College, which is the alma mater of both his father and brother.

At St Richards Primary, children and parents huddled in small groups discussing the results.

A group of students comforted their friend who was in tears because of where she was placed.

"Anxious, nervous, everything," was how some students responded when the Observer asked how they felt prior to the results' release. One student even admitted, "I couldn't sleep last night."





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