Students at Gloster Lodge ready for next chapter

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Students of Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School pose for photos after
they sat SEA exams at the school on Gloster Lodge Rd, Port of Spain, on
Thursday. PHOTO BY FAITH AYOUNG

It was all smiles, laughter, and celebration as students from Gloster Lodge Moravian Primary School left the Belmont school after finishing their Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exam.

Parents huddled together outside, trying to shelter from the blazing sun as they eagerly awaited their children. Newsday spoke to Lisa Rodriguez at the school gate. She said she was relieved the exam was over, thanked school staff and included nearby shopkeepers for the role they played in “moulding the minds of the children.”

Rodriguez spoke about the murder of Amoa Howe, who was gunned down near the school on February 20. “When that incident occurred, the teachers, even though they were scared, kept the children calm and protected them. It’s more than a school, it’s a community, and they deserve so much praise.”

Howe, who lived in England for a few years and was known for organising an annual Christmas party in the community, was gunned down at around 9 am near the school. His body lay in the road, metres from the school, in a pool of blood.

His house is next to the school and stands as a grim reminder. Sapphire Brathwaite Jones was giddy with excitement. The 11-year-old said section three of the math paper was a bit challenging, but the rest of the exam was good. Brathwaite Jones said she was excited to attend a new school. Asked about Howe’s murder, she said it did not affect her, as she had grown accustomed to gun violence.

Marcus Hinds, who was eagerly waiting, expressed relief that the exam was over. He said this was his third and last time and was proud of his 12-year-old son, Mozriah Jones.

Mozriah said he wanted to pass for Woodbrook Secondary School and enjoyed the language arts section of the exam, but found the maths a bit tough. He looks forward to playing video games, and thanked his teachers for their hard work.

Cassidy Melville and his mother, Shenicee Melville, were all smiles. Cassidy would like to attend St Francis Boys’ College.

He said he was glad for the time away from classes. Cassidy, who lives in Gonzales, said he was unfazed by the killing, citing it as a regular occurrence. He would like to follow in his mother’s footsteps and become a social worker.

Farah Johnson, also from Gonzales, said the exam was good, but she struggled a bit with the maths, mainly section three. She said she will miss her teachers, but is excited to start a new school and move one step closer to her dream of becoming a nurse.