The top male and female students of St. Andrew Primary and Greenwich Town Primary Schools were the recent toast of Petrojam’s Annual Scholarship presentation, where they were awarded five-year scholarships and school supplies in recognition of their outstanding performance in the 2020 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) Exams.
The 2020 awardees- Rashawn Lowe (Top Boy) and Shaneira Beadle of St. Andrew Primary will be attending Calabar High School and St. Andrew High School for Girls while Tishawanie Hamilton (Top Boy) and Towea Lothian of Greenwich Town Primary School will be attending Camperdown High and St. Hugh’s High School for Girls respectively.
Minister of Science, Energy and Technology, Hon. Daryl Vaz in his congratulatory address affirmed his commitment to ensuring adequate internet access to facilitate remote/online learning, brought about by the rise in COVID-19 cases.
“We have had to adapt to remote learning in a virtual learning space and this is where access to the internet and technology is crucial; and as Minister of Technology I am committed to ensuring that we provide the relevant access to the internet and devices to facilitate remote learning for our students,” said the Minister of Technology.
The Technology Minister noted that he would be working closely with the Ministry of Education to ensure that not just schools, but also communities with no service or poor internet service are adequately serviced. He said that he is working to “get quick results and more importantly to come up with and roll out broadband across the entire country in the shortest possible time.”
Minister Vaz reminded the awardees that they are the future builders of Jamaica, who will lead the change in this digital age. “We are committed to giving you the best platform and foundation on which to make this possible. Through your hard work and dedication you have become standard bearers and examples to everyone else in your communities as to what is possible”, he noted.
The value of each scholarship is $60,000 per student per year and covers tuition and other expenses. Each awardee also receives a laptop and participates in a Homework Programme operated by Petrojam. The students are expected to attend twice weekly and are assisted by a trained tutor.
The four scholarship awardees received their new laptops in time for online classes for the beginning of the new academic year on Monday, October 5, 2020. They also copped most of the sectional awards for Most Outstanding Students in Math, English and Science. St. Andrew Primary School student Deidrean Blackwood was also presented with back-to-school supplies for being the Most Outstanding Student in Language.
Petrojam’s General Manager, Winston Watson, in his remarks lauded the achievements of the scholarship programme, pointing to the recent successes of four students from the batch of 2015, who recently sat the CSEC/CXC Exams. Each achieved seven subjects or more. “This programme has been quite beneficial and successful and we are really pleased to be able to so meaningfully contribute to these student’s lives. Throughout the years, most of them have either moved on to University or are gainfully employed,” he said.
One cannot underestimate the impact that this has on their families and by extension their communities”, Watson continued as he thanked Petrojam’s Community Outreach Committee, which operates the programme for their efforts in continuing the programme.
Since inception in 2006, 45 students have been awarded scholarships. There are currently 23 students in the programme.
Rashawn Lowe, the 2020 Top Boy of St Andrew Primary thanked Petrojam for the scholarship and pledged to do his best to make the company and his parents proud. His mother Pamella Williams also expressed her appreciation. “He is the first child from the family to get a scholarship and we are really blessed,” Ms Williams stated, adding, “I am really grateful and I appreciate everything that Petrojam has done at this time. [Petrojam paying] the school fee has really been a blessing and I don’t think we could have afforded a laptop at the moment.”
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