September 14, 2013
9-Y-O passes three CSEC subjects
Jaiden Morrison - Contributed
SHELDON WILLIAMS, Staff Reporter
At age nine when the average child is registered in grade four at the primary or preparatory school level, Jaiden Morrison already has three CSEC passes without even doing GSAT(Grade Six Achievement Test).
He earned a grade two in human and social biology, grade two in physical education and a grade three in social studies, all at the general proficiency level.
The polite nine-year-old said he doesn't consider himself a genius "because you have to work for it." He also insisted that he does not feel pressured to perform at all.When asked if he's always the top of his class, he replied, "yes sir, but there are some persons who challenge me."
He listed mathematics as his strongest and favourite subject and is desirous of attending one of five top-performing high schools.
Glenmuir High School
"My choices are Campion College and Glenmuir High School, those are my favourite ones. Then Jamaica College, Kingston College and Clarendon College," he emphasised.
Jaiden who will be 10 in November is doing his second year in six grade at The Free Town Primary School in Clarendon because he was deemed too young to matriculate last year.
" He was told in late November that he could not sit GSAT because he was too young and he was close with the students in his class because he was coming from grade one with them so we thought he would feel a little off because his friends would have left him so we wanted him to do something to distract him," his mother, Cassandra Morrison explained.
That distraction was to allow Jaiden to sit exams far more advanced for his age group in a shorter preparation time.
"The teachers were convinced he could have mastered the subjects. He started last December and he sat them in May at Innswood High School Evening Institute," Cassandra said.
She said Jaiden could have attempted other subjects but he chose those three because of teaching convenience among other things.
"We live close to Old Harbour and the teachers of those subjects were actually closer to him so he would have to attend each class after school and these are the subjects that were offered that were closer to his vicinity."
She explained she realised her son had a brilliant mind from an early age and put steps in place for him to realise his full potential.
"He's actually repeating grade six. He started school at four. He was homeschooled and then he started grade one at four years old with children ages six and seven and was way ahead of all of them. He could have been in grade two but the principal was a little nervous because of his age and because of his size," Cassandra said.
Despite her son's clear academic advantage over children his own age, Cassandra was quick to say that she does not think he is a genius but is simply talented.
"We had him assessed at the Mico Care Centre and at the time he was five years old and they said he was functioning at grade eight. Mico has an assessment centre for students, its based in Mandeville.They had provided us with a report at the time...everyone was amazed and one of the teachers advised that we get him assessed and we did," Cassandra added.
Cassandra explained that there were no government education mechanisms in place to groom talented children like Jaiden so she was instructed to devise methods to nurture his mind.
"We were told that the government had no special programmes for children who were performing like him but they encouraged us as parents to find what they call enrichment programmes. Other activities that would keep him stimulated."