– record 100 per cent pass despite great odds
THE Amerindian community of Orealla up the Corentyne River in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) is celebrating the 100 per cent success of their children who recently sat the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examination.
Orealla Primary, located at the top of a hill with a student population of 104, had 14 pupils write the exam this year and all passed, earning themselves places at secondary schools across the region.
The proud villagers are extremely happy, but sad at the same time, since it also means that most of the children will have to move out of the community to attend secondary schools. The nearest one is in Corriverton, some five hours away by boat. It’s a journey that usually costs $2000 return, and apart from being costly, is also a tedious undertaking given the school hours.
Due to these factors, those with relatives ‘on the road’ usually send their kids to stay there where it is more convenient for them to attend school.
And that is exactly what the parents of the community’s top achiever, Abigale Vansertima, plan doing so she could continue her journey towards becoming a doctor.
With 475 marks, she’s earned herself a place at the prestigious Berbice High School in New Amsterdam, but her parents have already sought to have her transferred to the Line Path Secondary in Corriverton.
Just turned 12, Abigale, who won herself a scholarship, courtesy of the region’s Regional Democratic Council (RDC), will be moving in with her aunt who lives in Crabwood Creek, so she could make the journey to Line Path, daily.
Though it will take her the same 15 minutes to get to school as she did in the last six years, this time around instead of walking up a steep hill, she will be making the journey by way of public transportation.
An avid reader and a lover of all things scientific, the pre-teen said she is excited and can’t
wait for September to start school.
She told the Guyana Chronicle that after carefully assessing the situation in the village, she chose to work towards becoming a doctor so she can assist and give back to her community.
Said the youngster, “Usually, a lot of doctors that serve the community come from outside of Orealla. I want to be able to take care of my people in the community.”
Her delighted mother, Roxanne Pelician, 43, said that Abigale, who is the second of her three children, has done the family immensely proud, and she is happy that her hard work has paid off.
“She is a very determined child, and because she has poor eyesight, she would usually study during the daytime because we don’t have electricity throughout the whole night,” Roxanne said.
She said she is longing for the day when the community can receive electricity all day and be equipped with an ICT hub, so that the schoolchildren can get their research done.
Despite having a secondary school in the community, most parents opt to send their children, especially those that excel, out of the community to further their education.
And in most instances, those same children return to give back to the community in the various disciplines in which they were trained after completing their secondary and tertiary education.
In second position is Theresa Herman, who scored 469 marks and copped a place at New Amsterdam Secondary, followed by Shameed Russel, who made 465 marks and also earned himself a place at New Amsterdam Secondary. Daniel Alexander secured a spot at JC Chandisingh Secondary with a total of 450 marks.
Orealla is located some 50 miles from Corriverton, and is one of two Amerindian settlements in Region Six, the other being Siparuta. Together, they have a population of just over 2000.