SAGHS student gains 11 CSEC distinctions
By Rachael Espinet Saturday, August 16 2014
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SEVENTEEN-YEAR-OLD Jesse Ramkalawan had a difficult time choosing only eight subjects to write for the Caribbean Secondary Educa-tion Certificate (CSEC). Unwilling to sacrifice a single subject she loved, she decided to do the 11 subjects for which she had been studying and earned 11 distinctions this year.
“These were subjects that I loved a lot, and I did not want to drop any. All the subjects I did, I had a lot of fun doing,” Ramkalawan said when asked why she did so many subjects. “I was not expecting to do so well. I am really thankful to everyone who helped me.”
The 11 subjects the St Augustine Girls High School (SAGHS) student did were mathematics, English A, English B (literature), physics, chemistry, biology, additional mathematics, information technology (IT), French, Spanish and technical drawings (TD). Ramkalawan did ten subjects this year and TD last year when she was in Form Four.
She stuck to a strict study routine months before the May/June exams. Studying two subjects every night, Ramkalawan said she was quickly able to get through the school’s syllabus. “I only went to lessons for add maths and physics. I rested before I studied so I would not be tired. There were a lot of late nights, but I love to study. Since I started high school I was really serious with my work,” she said.
Ramkalawan said she did not think that 11 subjects were too many for her to do because three of the subjects, literature, Spanish and French, she considered to be more hobbies than actual work.
Unsure of her career path, Ramkalawan said she is just doing subjects that she loves until she figures it out. However, she said she loves physics and often thinks about working in NASA or being a nuclear physicist or becoming a software engineer.
Balance was another secret to Ramkalawan’s success. She participated in many extra-curricular activities both inside and outside of school. She was the president of SAGHS’ TTPCA (TT Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), she took part in the Astro Club, a junior division of the Astronomy Society, and participated in invention competitions with the National Institute of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology.
Ramkalawan said all her teachers, both at school and lessons, were “amazing” and helped her with her exams.
Her parents, Anisa and Mark Ramkalawan, are very proud of their daughter’s success. Her mother told Newsday that Ramkalawan was the type of daughter every parent wanted to have.
“I never had to tell Jesse to do her studies. Even in primary school she would be studying. I am so proud of her. Everybody would want to have a child like Jesse. She always knew she had her work to do, and she did it,” her mother said.
Ramkalawan said she wants to do physics, mathematics and computer science in Form Six at SAGHS.