Noranda upgrades scholarship offers to top PEP performers
DISCOVERY BAY, St Ann:
After a decade of awarding the top Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) performers from schools in its operational area in St Ann, Noranda Bauxite has improved its scholarship awards this year to coincide with the new Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations.
Over the years, the top-performing girl and boy from each school have been awarded $25,000 each. That arrangement remains while the company has introduced two scholarships to the top girl and boy in the parish, with each being awarded $100,000 per year for five years.
The company also made other significant cash donations towards education in the parish.
At the annual awards ceremony held on Thursday evening at Port Rhoades Sports Club in Discovery Bay, Jamari Green and Abrianna Greaves, both students of Servite Primary in Brown’s Town, became the first recipients of the $100,000 scholarships. Each received a laptop also. Jamari will attend York Castle, while Abrianna is headed to St Hilda’s Diocesan.
Noranda’s vice-president and general manager, Delroy Dell, used the opportunity to contribute $664,000 to the Discovery Bay Basic School and $250,000 towards the Discovery Bay Library renovation fund.
“It is another expression of our interest in education and the value we have placed on investment in the youth of four communities and of our country,” Dell said in explaining Noranda’s continued support of education.
“I wish to say that Noranda strongly supports the efforts of the ministry and the Early Childhood Commission to improve and uplift the education standards in order to meet the goals of our 2030 education and training plans.”
Dell welcomed the “era of critical thinking,” noting that PEP and other major transformation strategies are pointing in the right direction, “but I also would like to add my voice to those who are asking for more support from the private and public sectors to help to strengthen the foundation of our early childhood education system in Jamaica.”
Meanwhile, parents of beneficiaries expressed delight at the support from Noranda.
One parent, Cecile Walford Guthrie, whose son Nicholas Guthrie, formerly of Charlton Primary, will attend York Castle High, told The Gleaner: “When I heard (of the award) I was elated, to be honest. I know that he worked well. He himself was taken aback. To hear that he was the top boy at his school really did a lot for him.”
Christine Green, mother of top-performing boy Jamari Green, simply said: “It’s an awesome feeling!”
Over the last 10 years, Noranda has awarded over 700 Noranda Awards of Merit worth $25,000 each, to the top primary GSAT students among primary schools in the company’s operating area.
The company has also provided over 1,200 education bursaries valued at $50,000 each, on average, to students entering tertiary institutions, this dating back 15 years.