A group of triplets from Mountainside in St. Elizabeth has brought pride and joy to their parents and community by performing well enough academically to be placed at their first choice of secondary schools.

They all picked top schools in their parish.

Denrique and his brother Dennis Barrett Jr., who both intend to become businessmen, have been placed at the prestigious Munro College.

Their sister, Tamoya, who is an aspiring nurse, will head to Hampton School.

The triplets’ continued success is motivation for their mother, Tamara Barrett, who noted her many failed attempts to get the trio on the government’s welfare programme – PATH.

“I wish they could just see my needs and assist us,” said the mother, a community health aide at Burnt Savannah Health Centre in St. Elizabeth.

She further commented: “When you have to buy things like textbooks and you have to multiply it by three, it is very very difficult. But I have been making sacrifices, and the teachers at Mountainside Primary help me a lot.”

Her husband, Dennis Barrett Snr., is no longer able to significantly assist the family financially since he was diagnosed with dementia, along with the chronic conditions he already had.

Even in illness, the children’s father beamed with pride when he heard about his triplets’ success in the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which is used to place students in secondary schools.

“Everything is in the right perspective,” he told The Beacon, adding that he expects his children to remain respectful.

All three of them attained Mastery of the Literacy and Numeracy components of PEP, and are all classified as Proficient in Mathematics.

Denrique and Tamoya are also Proficient in Language Arts.

Dennis, who has the best results of the three, is Highly Proficient in Language Arts. In the Ability Test, he performed better than 92 percent of the other PEP students across the island.

The triplet’s teacher, Phylicia Ebanks, said it was a ‘phenomenal experience’ teaching the siblings, adding that other teachers at Mountainside Primary also made a big impact.

“They are three dedicated and hardworking students. From Grade One up to Grade Six, they always aimed to perform at mastery levels,” she told The Beacon.

The educator continued: “The triplets also have a competitive spirit, in that each is always desirous of scoring higher than the other. So after every assessment, they would compare to see who got the highest score and trouble each other. The boys were especially known for this.”

The triplet’s mother, in the meantime, said she is not surprised by her children’s performances.

“They have always made me proud. Their performance now at the end, I am not really surprised by it, because I am expecting them to continue doing what they started out doing by being on top and doing their best,” she said.

The mother added that she is particularly pleased that her triplets proved their mettle when affected by measures implemented nationally to fight the coronavirus (COVID-19).

The switch from face-to-face classes to online learning was the biggest challenge for the family especially because they don’t have WiFi at home.

“There were times when I was unable to get them online because I don’t have internet at home,” the mother explained. “Normally, I would have internet on my phone, but I would be at work with my phone in the daytime.”

With the children not having internet access at home, they would get the day’s lessons and assignments in the evenings when their mother returned home from work.

The trio told The Beacon that they are proud of what they were able to achieve under relatively difficult circumstances.


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By Mills