28 top PEP students receive laptop computersMonday, December 06, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — Twenty-eight students were recently gifted with laptop computers by the Universal Service Fund (USF) for outstanding performance in the 2021 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations.
The top-performing students, one boy and one girl from every parish, were each presented with the devices which will be used to assist them in virtual learning.
According to a release, the presentation took place during a ceremony at the Altamont Court in New Kingston.
The recipients were Maleek Simpson, top boy for Clarendon and Kayana Edwards, the top girl for the parish; Jaden Drummond and Sai Pydipalli for Westmoreland; Kayla Callum and Abraham Waugh for Kingston; Kyla Campbell and Antoine Campbell for St Andrew; Dajanique Hylton and Jalil Douglas for St Thomas; Alexander Lee and Dajonelle Murray for Portland; Azuka Nduka and Morgan Gordon for St Mary; Takaylia Robinson and Camron Betton for St Ann; Kenneil Walker and Nateisha Richards for Trelawny; Giselle-Ann Swaby and Veerendra Biragie for St James; Altania Lawrence and Daniel Johnson for Hanover; Sydonia Nembhard and Zane Thompson for St Elizabeth; Chun Shen and Jantje Livermore for Manchester; and Kyle Walker and Lakaya Brown for St Catherine.
In congratulating the top performers, Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Daryl Vaz, urged the students to set big goals for themselves. He encouraged them to apply themselves to their studies, aggressively pursue their dreams and never settle for mediocrity.
“We are proud of your achievements thus far. Your work has proven that you are capable and have potential and ability to change not just your life but also transform this nation,” Vaz said.
Also noting how pleased he was of the USF's assistance in providing funding and resources to the nation's children, Vaz said the devices come “at a time when remote learning has often replaced face-to-face instruction” and that the “ownership of a device and Internet connectivity are crucial to the educational advancement of our children.”
The minister also highlighted that with COVID-19 significantly impacting the nation's children, it is clear that an education system powered by technology is the only way forward.
Minister of Education, Youth and Information, Fayval Williams also took the opportunity to congratulate the students on their achievements noting that they have displayed resilience, despite the challenges of the pandemic.
“I am delighted that, once again, we are able to collaborate with the Universal Service Fund (USF) to provide these devices that can aid your learning and give you the exposure to information and communications technology (ICT) in particular,” she said, encouraging the students to stay on track and remain focused on their studies.
Chief Executive Officer of the USF, Daniel Dawes, in his remarks noted that the annual presentation of laptops is one of the ways in which the entity supports the development of a digital society.
“The USF takes special interest in our students because we believe that if we are to develop the skills required for a digitally inclusive economy, we must start at the root of our society, and that is our children,” he said.
A total of 37,139 students sat the grade-six Ability Test component of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which was administered on May 26. Placement of students in high schools was done using the test scores combined with the results of the grade-four Performance Task exams in Language Arts and Mathematics that the students took in 2019.