Saturday, June 19, 2010

GSAT achiever hails dad

Delton McKenzie with his daughter Danielle, who recently passed her Grade Six Achievement Test for Immaculate Conception High School in St Andrew. - Contributed

Gleaner | 19 June 2010
Laura Redpath, Senior Gleaner Writer
(click on headline for link to Gleaner website)

ELEVEN-YEAR-OLD Danielle McKenzie is just one of many students who passed her Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) for the school of her choice and with Father's Day around the corner, she unhesitatingly credits her own father for her success.

The Sts Peter and Paul Preparatory student will be attending Immaculate Conception High School in September this year.

Danielle said she chose the high school, located in St Andrew, because of its positive academic reputation and its high standards of discipline, an attribute her father, Delton McKenzie, said he instilled in her.

"I give her freedom to some extent, and I keep her disciplined. We have a good relationship," he said.

Delton stressed the importance of fathers taking an active interest in their children's lives, saying parents do not need to live together in order to achieve this.

"Fathers really should help. They can still find the time to be part of their children's growth," he noted.

Although uncertain of her career choice at this time, Danielle said her strong subjects are communications and mathematics.

"(My father) helped me to work hard in my schoolwork. We would stay in the car to study in the mornings.

"Sometimes it got frustrating," she said, "going over the same thing over and over."

Her father agreed that the constant repetition was a challenge, as well as the overwhelming schoolwork.

"Sometimes I thought it was too much. It's a long process, knowing what's going on and quizzing her. I know she's supposed to know things and I check with her teachers.

"I put in my special work in those areas she's weak in and I stay in touch," Delton said, while stressing the importance of paying attention to all the details while studying.

Nervous at first

Danielle said at first she was nervous when she went to sit her exam. However, all the studying with her father paid off.

"After I finished the paper," she said, "I thought it was kind of manageable."

As a father who shows keen interest in his daughter's schoolwork, Delton said he thinks Jamaica's education system tends to "do a lot of weeding out at a very early age".

"It is challenging because of the limited quality spaces in our high-school system.

"More room should be made for social and moral development," he added.

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