Govt schools get unfair rap
By LARA PICKFORD-GORDON Friday, September 28 2012
click on pic to zoom in
EL DO TALENT: National Scholarship winners Shelly Maraj (left) and Zahirah Damree (right), with their Accounts and Management of Business studies teac...
PEOPLE must change their perspective of government-run schools as it is students from these schools which earn scholarships, national scholarship awardees and El Dorado East Secondary School students Shelly Maraj and Zahirah Damree both said.
After a dry spell of three years, the school this year received additional scholarships in Business Studies. “People say it is a bad school but the teachers are really good and are supportive of the students,” Damree told Newsday.
She said it was a good feeling to earn a scholarship and represent the school. In a separate interview, Maraj said that the school has the potential to earn more scholarships. The students both credited their Accounts and Management of Business studies teacher Daniel Subit for assisting them in their achievement. According to Darmee, he “pushed us to go towards a scholarship.”
Darmee, 19, said she studied daily, partook in lessons and did past papers to prepare for the Accounts, Management of Business and Economics exams. She earned seven Grade I’s, a Grade II and four distinctions overall. While she always did well in exams she described the news of being a recipient of a national scholarship as “surreal, and to get that good of a pass.”
Maraj, also 19 years old said someone did not have to go to a prestige school like St Augustine Girls’ High School to get a scholarship. Maraj disclosed that when she first passed for El Do she was disappointed and in Form Five had said she would not do her Advanced Level exam at the school however, she changed her mind after hearing of the good work of Subit.
Maraj said, “El Do is totally different now from when I started. People should change their perspective of government schools.”
She prepared for the exam by absorbing what was taught in the classroom and studying at home.
Maraj did not have “all nighters” staying up through the night but instead chose to rise at 4 am and studied for two hours before getting ready for school. The words of Mr Subit sunk in.
Maraj said one of his most frequent phrases was, “procrastination is the theft of time and consistency is the key.” She earned seven grade 1’s and one grade 2.
She was elated to earn a scholarship and thankful for the support of her parents Joanne and Jeewan for supporting her as well as her sisters.
Her belief in God was also a source of inspiration. “My belief in God helped me achieve this and coming up during the exams other religions affected me,” Maraj said.
Explaining further she said Sarada Boodram, a close friend who is a Christian offered prayers and encouragement. The year had its challenges, Maraj lost her beloved grandfather Sonny a month before the exam in June.
“I told him I am going to get a scholarship. I am working to get one. I am sure he would be happy if he was here today.”
Maraj and Damree are currently undergraduate students of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of the West Indies, St Augustine pursuing a Bachelors Degree in Management Studies.