LITTLE LONDON, Westmoreland — More than 300 students from across the constituency of Western Westmoreland who will be sitting the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) later this month, benefitted recently from a camp organised by Member of Parliament for the area Dr Wykeham McNeill in collaboration with private sector partners and other stakeholders.
The camp was designed to prepare the students for the March 21 and 22 exams.
Some 43,384 students are scheduled to sit the GSAT at 1,184 centres across the island.
Coordinated by Education Officer Phillip Hall, the camp which ran for three consecutive Saturdays at Little London High School, ended last week.
In explaining the need for the camp, Hall said an assessment of students throughout the 16 primary schools across the constituency revealed that the performance of some of them were dismal.
He said 16 teachers, drawn from the parishes of Westmoreland and Hanover were recruited to provide tuition for the 320 students who needed to be upgraded.
McNeill, who is also the Minister of Tourism, provided the participating teachers with a stipend to cover their transportation costs, as well as funding for the transportation of the students who attended classes from between 9:am and 4:pm for the three consecutive Saturdays.
KFC, WYSINCO and several hotels from the Westmoreland area, furnished the camp with meals.
Hall said he was very satisfied with the level of improvement reflected by the students during the camp.
" We have seen tremendous improvement in a lot of the students because we have children move from 40- odd average in maths and literacy to 90 per cent," he noted.
" Some remained the same, but over 50 per cent of them showed signs of improvement. The camp was very good."
McNeill too was very impressed with the performance of the students.
" It is interesting to see how a lot of times when you ask the kids to do extra work they complain, but they were so happy. They had a great time at the camp," said the MP, adding that they were numeracy and literacy specialists in attendance.