Frome Tech student credits councillor for CSEC exam success

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Frome Tech student credits councillor for CSEC exam success

BY ANTHONY LEWIS
Observer West writer

Thursday, October 29, 2020

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LITTLE LONDON, Westmoreland -Frome Technical High School sixth form student Miguel James will be forever grateful for what Garfield James, the People's National Party (PNP) councillor for the Sheffield Division in Westmoreland, has done to prepare him for the future.

Up to the day before the deadline for the payment of fees for those who want to sit the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination, Davis, who has four siblings and is from a single-parent home, was unsure where the funds would come from to make such payment.

The teenager, who wants to become a physiotherapist, said he had lost all hope of sitting the exam when James, who was told about his plight, came through at the last moment for him.

“At first, the finances weren't there and one of the residents of Moreland Hill spoke with Mr James and then he said he was going to help me out with the payment for the CSEC and the payment was sometime in April, and in the day, I didn't see him, but then he came the night with the payment for the examination,” the student told the Jamaica Observer West.

“I was happy about that because I had lost hope because I didn't know if he was going to come.”

Davis, who obtained the nine subjects CSEC he sat this year, was among several students from the Sheffield Division recognised at the Academic Excellence Awards Ceremony put on by James at the Little London High School in Westmoreland, recently, for outstanding performance in their respective exit examinations.

The students received gift baskets, data plans for accessing the Internet, and education grants.

Little London High School Vice-Principal Terry James, who is also the wife of Councillor James, told the Observer West that she was unaware of the goodwill gesture made by her husband. She said it was Davis who related to her that just at the moment when he had given up all hope of sitting the exam, the councillor showed up at his gate at around 10:00 pm the night before the final day for payment, with the funds to pay the fees.

Davis, who hails from the community of Moreland Hill in Westmoreland, also obtained two National Council on Technical and Vocational Education and Training (NCTVET) subjects.

Councillor James, who is also the principal of the Little London High School, told the Observer West that the plight of Davis “is one of many such situations in my division”, that led to him to launch the annual Academic Excellence Awards Ceremony.

“There are so many other shining examples of this within the communities. But, the reality is that these are some of the thinking behind the idea of coming up with hosting what we call the Academic Excellence Awards for top-performing students from the PEP [Primary Exit Profile] as well as the CSEC exams,” James stated.

Besides, James currently operates a programme called 'Helping Hand in Education' where two students are selected from the 23 major communities within the division, and given a Digicel or Flow data plan each month for accessing the Internet to facilitate their online classes.

“The reality is that there are a lot of students, who in terms of Internet penetration and those who are accessing the Internet online for classes, are way below what it should be. So, hence, we are trying our best from my side, to ensure that we get students who are not as fortunate as others to be able to log on as best as possible to access these online programmes,” James explained.


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