Uvelyn Barrett-Rose has been principal at Lluidas Vale Primary School in rural St Catherine for a decade.
She told Jamaica Beacon that, as far as she is aware, this is the first time that three boys are averaging 90 percent or more in any single sitting of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
In fact, the three boys are among the school’s top four GSAT performers this year. They are Ashauny Gordon who is also Head Boy, Brandon Bell, and Devaun James.
James is the best performing boy. He scored 85 percent in Language Arts, 97 percent in Science, 88 percent in Social Studies, 95 percent in Math, and 92 percent in Communication Task.
Gordon is in second position with 94 percent in Language Arts, 90 percent in Science, 93 percent in Social Studies, 92 percent in Math, and 83 percent in Communication Task.
Bell, in the meantime, earned 83 percent in Language Arts, 93 percent in Science, 91 percent in Social Studies, 91 percent in Math, and 92 percent in Communication Task.
Rihanna Eastwood is the only female in the top four, with the leading average of 94.4 percent.
GSAT teacher at Lluidas Vale Primary School, Kadie Sinclair, told Jamaica Beacon that she recognized at an early stage that the top three boys were engaged in somewhat of an academic clash.
It appears they took that competitive spirit into GSAT, as they emerged from their exams with virtually identical average percentages.
Bell has 90 percent, Gordon has 90.4 percent and James has 91.4 percent.
“Those three boys, from grade four, were very competitive with each other. When I saw the competition, I fostered it,” Sinclair explained.
“At one point, I saw that some animosity was taking place. I encouraged them to celebrate each other’s success. I also put them on a team to compete with the girls in class.”
They have a grand opportunity to keep the friendly rivalry alive in September, considering that all three will attend St Jago High School in Spanish Town – three taxis away from their homes in Lluidas Vale.
Sinclair, in the meantime, said there are 16 boys and 11 girls in her GSAT class. However, four boys did not sit the GSAT because they did not pass the education ministry’s literacy exams.
The teacher explained that a number of issues usually affect especially the performance of boys. She said they include the quality of students entering the school, inadequate parental support, and shortage of resources.
Sinclair stated that, going forward, she expects better performances particularly from the boys. Gordon, Bell and James perhaps started the transformation.
By Horace Mills