Shalita Appadu of Auchlyne Estate on the Corentyne secured the top spot in the country alongside a student of Queen’s College. She also did her region and school proud by gaining the much coveted top spot. She secured 15 Grade One passes.
She said that there is a shortage of Maths and Science teachers at the New Amsterdam Multilateral School and that this has been a setback.
Interestingly, the young scholar never had a fixed study schedule. “I read topics that I found that were interesting, but when I was ready to write the exams, I had covered most of the things”, she noted.
Appadu got most of her CXC work completed in the Fourth Form, giving her a lot of time to revise and work past questions in the Fifth Form. “In Fifth Form, I had to recuperate because I was extremely exhausted, so I had a lot of sleeping in my Fifth Form Year”, she noted.
She drew strength from her supportive peers with whom she conducted “lots of class discussions and quizzes; we tested one another” and interestingly used technology to the best of her ability by ‘Skyping’ on the internet to communicate in real time with friends as they asked each other study questions.
“We did Maths problems online. We helped each other with School- Based Assessments (SBAs)”, she said.
A major challenge during the entire exams preparation period, Appadu recalled, was when she lost all her work stored on the computer after it crashed. She had to redo most of her SBAs. “I ended up doing some of my SBA’s twice”, including Biology, Agricultural Science, Business and Lab work.
She noted that the exams were not difficult but that she faced “a little difficulty with Physics”. “I love Chemistry and on the day of my Chemistry Paper 2 Exams, I reached about 15 minutes late, and when I entered the room, I was really scared and frustrated”, she recalled.
She feels that intelligent, “analytical minds are drawn to Maths and Chemistry subjects, always wanting to know more”.
Her future plans include the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and then move on to the University of Guyana (UG) where she would do Chemistry. After UG, she wants to specialize in Medicine, most likely cardiology or optometry.
“My dad wants me to become a General Doctor and my brother, a Dentist.”
She accepted her “Facebook addiction”. “I was always there, 24/7 and that took up a lot of my time”, she said. She urged students preparing for next year’s exam to partake in extra lessons.
“They need to go to lessons, because usually teachers would not finish all of the work and they have to get the work done. It is really imperative for them to do so”, she noted. She advised students to back up their work done on the computer having experienced losing her data for her school work.
She endorsed group studying and class discussions .”We prepared quiz on specific topics and then you worked it out the next week. Then whatever you understand, you will share your idea with your friends. That really helped”, she said.
The devout Hindu noted that the school did not have a lot of subject teachers. Students had to manage to get the work done, with the help of extra lessons. Appadu praised her high school, NAMS, for “doing it again” and for getting the top student of the region again.
“Well, the thing about Multi that I like, is that they don’t spoon feed you. You have to research to get your work done. They would not feed you the information, so when you’re ready to go to university, you can handle the work. I would like to thank Multi for that,” she posited.
“They don’t always have teachers there and the subjects that we really need assistance from, they do not have”, she noted. The school she says needs more Math and Science teachers. “They place a lot of emphasis on the Business subjects, but the Science stream has been facing a lot of problems”.
Her philosophy? “You have to work hard…anything is possible once you put your best to it”.
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