By Romario Blair
Kaieteur News – “I may not have been able to become a bank manager but when I look, I have many students who would’ve worked at banks and probably hold senior positions at banks.” Those were the words of ‘Sir’ Boadnarine Harrinarine, a veteran educator, who has been moulding and sharpening the minds of students for over two decades.
In the year 2018, ‘Sir’ Harrinarine, now 42-years old, took a step back from the classroom, when he commenced the Ministry of Education’s Cadet Training Programme. As he reflects on his experiences, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine no doubt feels a sense of accomplishment, as his 23 years in the classroom were beyond remarkable.
‘Sir’ Boadnarine hails from the community of Devonshire Castle, a tightly knit community on the Essequibo Coast with a deep appreciation for neighbourly love. He pursued his secondary education at the Anna Regina Secondary School, and graduated as a business student.
During an exclusive interview with Kaieteur News last Thursday, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine revealed that he had never envisioned that the teaching profession would have been the career path he would follow. In fact, he revealed that he always had the desire of one day becoming a bank manager. “I never saw teaching as a profession for me. I always wanted to become a Bank Manager and I think that’s why I pursued studies in the Business stream.”
After high school, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine gained some work experience when he secured a job as a clerk for a popular business enterprise in Georgetown.
When he returned to the Coast, he was encouraged to join the teaching profession. “I came back home for the holidays and then I was encouraged by two well-known teachers, Mr. Balsam Danny and Par mesh Worrall, to pursue teaching, which I did.”
The year 1997 signalled the commencement of his teaching career. He was assigned to the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School, which was, and continues to be, one of the top secondary schools on the Essequibo Coast.
It was at this point ‘Sir’ Boadnarine said that he discovered his “natural ability” to teach. He went on to say, “Though teaching was not my first choice as a career, from a young age, I used to be attached to Sunday school and I would teach Sunday school classes…I believe that would’ve sparked a little interest in me, in wanting to teach… but when I began teaching, I found that I had a natural ability to teach.”
During the period 1997 to 2018, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine taught several subjects at the Anna Regina Secondary School. The subject areas included Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business, Office Administration, Economics, English and Social Studies.
For most students who would’ve attended the Anna Regina Multilateral, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine is without a doubt remembered as a stern disciplinarian, who was nevertheless approachable. During his interview with this publication, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine revealed that being a teacher requires more than merely imparting knowledge.
He went on to note that dedication to the job is of paramount importance. He mentioned too that a touch of approachability is essential, with a blend of originality. “I was a committed, dedicated and approachable teacher. I had a good relationship with all of my students. But, at the same time I was a stern disciplinarian,” said ‘Sir’ Boadnarine. He went on to say, “One of my principles that I worked with, was getting my children to like me, but at the same time I tried not to be an encourager of slackness. I understood my students, and I knew that once I got them to like me, they would also like the subject that I was teaching. I believe for this reason, throughout most of my career, I’ve achieved almost 100 percent pass rate for my subjects each year.”
‘Sir’ Boadnarine explained that while his dream of becoming a bank manager never materialised, he has been granted the opportunity of shaping the minds of future bank managers. This, he said, is the single most rewarding aspect of the teaching profession.
“The best aspect of being a teacher is knowing that you are making an impact in the lives of many children — knowing that you are a part of who and what they will become. The knowledge you have, those skills, quality and knowledge you possess as a teacher, you’re not only keeping them for yourself, but you’re sharing it with people, and the glory comes when you see these same people who you shared the knowledge with, evolve into positive people in society,” said ‘Sir’ Boadnarine.
AN ENCOURAGING EXPERIENCE
As an educator, the experience of running into a former student who has used your principles to excel can be a great experience, according to ‘Sir’ Boadnarine.
Speaking of one such experience, he said, “there was this one particular individual, who was invited to our school’s graduation and he was invited to deliver the charge and made mention of me having an impact on him becoming who he is today. He reminded me of how I used to talk to the class and encourage them to pursue higher studies and degrees, to do the best they can do to become positive individuals in life.”
He added, “I felt satisfied…if I have made an impact in one person’s life, then I would’ve made an impact in the lives of thousands of persons.”
‘Sir’ Boadnarine revealed that of the four children his parents (Harrinarine and Leelawattie Narine) had, he was the only one fortunate enough to complete a secondary education.
In the year 2001, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine was enrolled at the Cyril Potter College of Education, where he pursued studies in Secondary Education and Social Studies. During his training at CPCE, he continued to teach at the Anna Regina Secondary.
In 2003, he eventually climbed the academic ladder, as he went in pursuit of a degree in Business Studies at the University of Guyana.
While attending the University of Guyana (UG), ‘Sir’ Boadnarine gained additional teaching experience at the Vreed-en-Hoop Community High School, then later at the St. John’s College in Georgetown, where he was attached as Head of the Business Department.
According to our ‘Special Person,’ attending UG was challenging during the culmination of his studies, as he lost his mother.
Explaining how he dealt with this challenge, he said, “During my time at university, I lost both parents, one of them during the midst of final exam. My lecturer, however, was kind enough to let me re-sit the exam. I practically ‘sent’ myself through University…my relatives, and our neighbours at Devonshire Castle, were instrumental in assisting.”
Reflecting on the acts of kindness shown to him during his challenges, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine said, “Those experiences taught me that support doesn’t have to be material to impact one’s life because many of my neighbours simply offered a word or two of encouragement and that took me a long way.”
He added, “I must give credit to my church also, they always expected good things out of you, and they always pushed you to fulfill their expectations, especially the older folks at that time.”
After completing his studies at UG, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine was reassigned to the Anna Regina Secondary as Head of the Business Department. In the year 2010, he was eventually appointed the Deputy Head Teacher.
In 2018, he was appointed Headmaster at the Aurora Secondary School, where he remained briefly before commencing his Cadet training. When asked why he signed up for Cadet Training, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine replied, “I always wanted to make an impact, and if the opportunity comes for me to make a bigger impact in education, in Region Two, and if time permits, I’ll take it.”
While there are still a number of challenges ahead of his endeavours, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine remains confident that he will overcome future obstacles with the continuous support of his family, friends and God.
With his loving and supportive wife, Canesha Harrinarine, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine has fathered three amazing children: Emannuel, Sammuel, and little Leah Mahima, the newest addition to the family. She arrived in March.
Noting that his family has been supportive of his profession, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine said, “they understand the demands of my job and they support me wholeheartedly.”
As an educator, he also emphasises to his own children the value of a sound education. “I understand the importance of education, it takes us places, it makes the impossible possible, and I take pride and dignity in ensuring my children secure an education,” said ‘Sir’ Boadnarine.
In addition to being an academic educator, ‘Sir’ Boadnarine is also a religious educator. He is presently in charge of a church with a small congregation. He said, “We are a small congregation but we are making an impact in our society.”
‘Sir’ Boadnarine, who believes that one never stops being an educator, said that he lives each day of his life embracing the biblical principle, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” With that in mind, he believes he can overturn all future obstacles.
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