Triplets ace PEP, now mom worried about school feesWednesday, July 21, 2021
BY HORACE MILLS
BURNT SAVANNAH, St Elizabeth — Even as she celebrates her triplets' latest academic feat, Tamara Barrett remains wary of the financial challenges ahead.
The three siblings got their first choice for secondary school placement based on their performance in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP). Her two sons, Dennis Jr and Denrique, will attend Munro College. Their sister, Tamoya, has been placed at Hampton School.
Dennis, who did better than his siblings, has been declared 'proficient' in mathematics and 'highly proficient' in language arts. In the ability test he performed better than 92 per cent of other students across the island. He also attained mastery of the numeracy and literacy components of PEP.
“I am not really surprised by [their performance] because I [was] expecting them to continue doing what they started out doing – by being on top and doing their best,” their mother told the Jamaica Observer, beaming with pride.
Caring for triplets has always been a challenge but the community health aide at Burnt Savannah Health Centre in St Elizabeth has sacrificed to ensure each one feels loved and appreciated.
The family has struggled financially, the burden made heavier as Dennis Barrett Sr is unable to give the family's income the necessary boost since he was diagnosed with dementia and chronic illness last November.
Tamara Barrett, who said past efforts to get help from the State-run Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH) were unsuccessful, is determined to approach them again to make sure her children attend high school.
“I wish they could just see my needs and assist us,” she said. “When you have to buy things like textbooks and you have to multiply it by three, it is very very difficult.”
She is particularly pleased that her children have excelled in school despite the challenges faced. For that, she expressed gratitude to teachers at Mountainside Primary School.
She explained that online classes, which the Government implemented amid the novel coronavirus pandemic, was a major challenge for her and the triplets.
“There were times when I was unable to get them online because I don't have [Wi-Fi] at home. Normally, I would have [Internet] on my phone but I would be at work with the phone [in the days],” the mother said.
She added that the children were only able to attend online classes sporadically and would wait for her to return home with the phone to access lessons and assignments.
Well aware of the challenges, the triplets' teacher Phylicia Ebanks said staff members of Mountainside Primary are ecstatic about their performance in PEP.
“We are extremely proud of them. What warms my heart most is their determination to excel despite facing many Internet challenges during online classes,” the educator said. “We all worked hard, along with the principal and other teachers, and the triplets were determined to achieve their goals.”
The teenagers told the Observer they intend to continue reaping academic success in order to fulfil their dreams.
Dennis and Denrique want to become successful businessmen.
Their sister, Tamoya, is an aspiring nurse.
“I always dream of helping people,” she said.