Oct 06, 2020 News
Despite COVID-19 challenges…
Kaieteur News – Students, who wrote the Caribbean Secondary Examination Certification (CSEC) this year, were faced with the unprecedented challenge of sitting a major exam during a pandemic. Yet, many of them put their best foot forward and achieved exemplary grades.
Kaieteur News caught up with some of this year’s youngest CSEC performers. The students, all of Morgan’s Learning Centre (MLC) – a private school, recounted their experiences writing exams at the time of the COVID-19 pandemic. They achieved 100 percent passes in key subject areas.
Ashanti France, 14 years old – the youngest of 200 students, who wrote the exams via MLC, attained passes in three subjects, Mathematics, English A and Human and Social Biology.
She explained that her decision to write CSEC at a much younger age than usual was taken long before the pandemic hit.
“I had received the encouragement from my parents, teachers and also I challenged myself to get it done…in terms of COVID-19, I was concerned about it but I had been studying early mornings and late nights for CSEC, so I knew I would be successful,” France said.
The 14 year-old attends a public school but wrote the exams through the private school where she attends extra lessons. “I am just grateful to my family, my teachers and those who supported me throughout the entire process,” she explained.
Similarly 10th graders, Destiny Archer, Nicholas Bisram, Nikaevia Burke, Leslie Daley, Aicha Grant, Xiran Huang, Shiniqua Lewis, Karese Lloyd, Les Myers and Isiah Xavier, who all came out of the exams with Grade one in Mathematics, said that they were initially nervous about writing the exams during COVID-19 but got the encouragement they needed to do their best from their parents and teachers.
“The preparation was not easy but it turned out well. So, I am just glad I was able to get it out of the way,” Archer told this publication.
Chidima Nurse, who was the top performing eleventh grader (Fifth Former) of the school, acquired 14 passes in the various subject areas among them: History, English Language, English Literature –Geography, Social Studies, Spanish and Mathematics.
The 17-year-old, who wants to become a lawyer, credited her academic success to having discipline and a good support system.
She noted that after the pandemic hit Guyana, MLC immediately put systems in place for its students to continue receive their schooling virtually.
“That definitely helped along the way and boosted my confidence in time for the exams,” she said.
Kristoff Persaud, another eleventh grader who attained 11 passes at CSEC, said his teacher helped motivate him to be more discipline in his approach to his school work.
“They definitely pushed us harder here and required me to be more disciplined,” Persaud said. The student explained that while the exam wasn’t difficult, the preparation period was.
“I expected to do well because, my mom, she is one the people that ensured I studied and so on.” As such, the student was able to attain passes in Economics, English A, Mathematics, Principles of Accounts and Principles of Business.
Warren Daley, who wrote 12 subjects, told Kaieteur News that while the pandemic appeared to be a set-back, it made him study even harder.
“The pandemic allowed for extra time for me to prepare because it pushed the exams date a bit further, so I got extra time to study…So yeah, I didn’t think that this could happen but it did,” said Daley who hopes to pursue a career in financing.
Alywn Hoppie, 17, an aspiring computer engineer noted that “First of all I didn’t think I had it in me. I was a bit nervous but after sitting the first subject, it gave me the incentive and boosted my confidence that I needed to do well in the rest.”
He acquired passes in 10 subject areas. Similarly, Neil Cadogan, who attained passes in 12 subject areas, expressed satisfaction on how it all worked out. The student also viewed the pandemic as a blessing in disguise since it gave him extra time to prepare.
He noted that, like most students, he was concerned about his health and safety but noted that the school had put systems in place to ensure that each student practiced the guidelines that made them and their parents feel comfortable in the environment that they were sitting the exams.
Trichelle Carter, who also attained 12 passes primarily in sciences subjects, told Kaieteur News that she is especially passionate about pursuing a career as a doctor.
“I choose the subjects because of my dream job. It is what kept me focused the entire time,” she said. Carter achieved Grade ones and twos in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Integrated Science and Human and Social Biology.
Meanwhile, speaking to Kaieteur News about the preparations for this year’s CSEC, MLC’s founder and Principal, Sir Orin Morgan, noted that after COVID-19 closed schools in Guyana, he was immediately tasked with ensuring the young students he was preparing for CSEC did not panic or lose their focus. He said that the school immediately set up online/virtual classrooms to continue offering instruction in the various subject areas.
During that time, the principal urged the CSEC class of 2020 to not necessarily view the pandemic in a totally negative light.
“It appeared to be a setback but in a way I took it as something to challenge us as teachers and students to learn outside the regular mould and in keeping with our motto ‘Still We Rise’. All the students excelled despite the challenges we faced during the pandemic,” the teacher added.
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