Rising stars on schols charts
By Cecily Asson Saturday, September 21 2013
Popular colleges are not the only ones celebrating scholarship success this year. Marabella North Secondary School, Barrackpore West Secondary, Fyzabad Anglican School and Shiva Boys’ Hindu College are rising up the scholastic charts, as their students are among 428 winners of scholarships based on the 2013 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Winning a national scholarship for students from Government schools, such as Marabella North Secondary and Barrackpore West Secondary, which in many cases are not usually their first choices at the primary level, is a testimony to the dedication of their teachers, principals Roger Waterman and Germaine Gray said yesterday. They are extremely proud of their “homegrown” students Nirmala Nirupa Jonas, of Marabella North, and Devanan Ramdath and Saeed Khan, of Barrackpore West.
The three teenagers, two of whom are already pursuing degrees at the University of the West Indies (UWI) campuses, won additional scholarships and hold the honour of being students who spent the entire seven years at their schools.
“It says a lot for teachers who work in schools like ours,” Waterman, of Marabella North, told Newsday yesterday. “They work tremendously hard and I think other members of the society are not very aware of how hard our teachers have to work. They bend over backwards in terms of giving extra to ensure our students at these schools do well.”
Waterman said they had expected a scholarship from Jonas who always performed well since entering the school in Form One. He continued, “We are very grateful for it. We have been knocking on the door for the last three years.”
This year, the school gained a 96 percent pass rate in the CAPE exams recording one of their better performances, “although we always do well,” he said. Jonas, who lives at Williamsville, has taken a year off from studying and will begin her tertiary education next year, Waterman told Newsday.
About the success at Barrackpore West, Gray told Newsday 2013 has been a great year for the school having performed well at CAPE, Caribbean Secondary Examination Certificate examinations and in schools cricket, in which they are former champions.
Yesterday, all the scholarship winners were described by their principals as being good all-round students who participated in all school activities.
Speaking about her students, Gray said, “It was just not about the academics, every event we had Devanan and Saeed participated in, everything.”
Her sentiments were echoed by Donna Wong Wai, principal of Fyzabad Anglican Secondary School whose student Chantal Amelia Charles Nation secured the lone additional scholarship for the school. Charles is now at UWI, Jamaica pursuing her degree in medicine. Wong Wai said the school expected Charles to excel and said she, like three previous winners from the school, is now an “example for the younger ones”.
Wong Wai said, “It is the all-round student that succeeds. We expected it from day one, from Form One Chantal was involved in so many things. She was an all-round student.” She said while scholarships “are good”, the school’s main focus is on producing good citizens.
Among other non-traditional “scholarship schools” celebrating in South yesterday were Shiva Boys’ Hindu College, an institution well known for their prowess on the football field. For the third time in as many years, the college has produced a female scholarship winner, Sherry Ann Soongoon, of Barrackpore, who is now pursing studies in medicine, vice-principal Divinesh Neeranjan told Newsday yesterday. Soongoon, a former Parvati Girls’ College student, entered Shiv Boys’ at Form Six.
Pure Maths teacher Omatee Ramnarine said Soongoon “comes from a very humble background but has always been a diligent student. We knew she was scholarship material.”
Among the schools which won additional scholarships are St Stephen’s College (one), Rio Claro West Secondary School (one) and San Fernando Central Secondary (two). See Page 9A