Hard work and determination were key factors for success
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–Reg. 6 top CSEC performers say

DESPITE hectic schedules, intense studying and personal challenges in the lead-up to the 2021 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, several Region Six students have recorded outstanding performances.

Included on the national list of 47 candidates with 12 or more Grade Ones are Faria Hafiz, of JC Chandisingh Secondary, who gained 14 Grade Ones and three Grade Twos; Tahini Singh of Tagore Memorial High School with 14 Grade Ones; Bibi Rhea Subhan of Berbice High School, whose 19 subjects includes 13 Grade Ones and six Grade Twos; and Vettorrie Lathman of Skeldon Line Path Secondary with 12 Grade Ones and four Grade Twos.

The results of the examinations were announced by the Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand on Friday morning during a ceremony held at the National Centre for Education and Research Development (NCERD) in down-town Kingston.

Hafiz told the Guyana Chronicle on Monday that when she first found out about her achievement, a feeling of happiness and satisfaction engulfed her. The 17-year-old, who is a resident of Rose Hall, Corentyne, said her preparations for the examinations consisted of working around-the-clock, and adapting to new ways of studying.

“My preparation consisted of watching many CXC YouTube videos by Online tutors, and I made sure to get good SBA scores. There were definitely challenges; the COVID-19 pandemic, where we weren’t in school for almost an entire school year was the main one,” she said. “The CXC tutors of YouTube were also a great help… Kerwin Springers, Adapt Tuition, Learn SKN, Jamian Hatton to name a few,” she added.

She attributed her success to God; her parents; paternal uncle, Nabeel; Miss Savitri Sukhdeo; Sir Ravendra Naggah, and her best friend.

The charismatic and eloquent young lady who plans to become a medical doctor, is currently a student at the University of Guyana’s Tain Campus, where she is pursuing an Associate Degree in Biology.

Her advice to those who will be writing CSEC in the coming years is to be self-motivated, and to put in the extra work on their own.
“Do not depend on anyone, and always strive for only excellence,” she emphasised.

Back in 2016, Hafiz was the top performer for the Rose Hall Town Primary School at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). Though she was awarded a place at Queen’s College, her parents opted to have her attend secondary school in the region.

Meanwhile, Lathman, who is also 17 years old, has his heart set on becoming a civil engineer.
He told the Guyana Chronicle that when he received his results, he was happy, but not overjoyed, as he felt he should have done better. However, after reflecting upon the academic journey, he realised that the challenges brought on by the pandemic tested his character, and helped to mould him as an individual. In light of these circumstances, he eventually concluded that his performance was truly remarkable.

“Being completely honest, when I received my results, I was happy, but I wasn’t overjoyed as per say, because I expected a bit better of myself. But after giving it some thought, I realised the character I have built up and showed during this time is something that couldn’t be shown on paper, and it was then it dawned on me that I have achieved something remarkable: My results and also the person I built in the process,” he said with pride.
Lathman recalled how he used various study methods in the lead-up to the examinations.

“I got my hands on the various syllabi,” he said, “and ensured I gained a thorough understanding of each of its contents. I didn’t stick entirely to the traditional textbook learning; I incorporated videos and other learning aids that were available Online. I also made it mandatory that I studied each day leading up to the exams,” he added.

His advice to other students is to make use of the resources that are available, and to know that they are stronger in the midst of despair, as they all possess strength beyond their perception.

Moving forward, Lathman, who lives at Number 73 Village, is hoping to get a scholarship to pursue engineering studies.
“I would like to become a civil engineer, so, studying will be my next major step. Hence, I am hoping for a scholarship which would make that step a bit easier,” he said.

The teen told this publication that his parents, Omika Harkie and Lakram Lathman, who are both teachers, are proud of his achievements.

Also speaking to the Guyana Chronicle was Tahini Singh, who expressed satisfaction with her performance. She said achieving such good results was always a dream of hers.

“I was surprised and overwhelmed with a feeling of immense satisfaction, as this is something I have thrived to achieve since I started high school,” Singh said as she beamed with joy.

When asked about the challenges she faced prior to the exams, she stressed that COVID- 19 was the biggest hurdle, as she learns best using the face-to-face method.

She said that with a lot of perseverance, she was able to adapt to virtual learning, and most of the time did self-studying.
Singh expressed gratitude to God, her parents, friends and teachers, especially Sir Narine and Miss Reshma for their support and encouragement every step of the way.

Singh, who plans to further her studies in the field of medicine, explained that from a young age, she developed a passion for cardiology. Her ultimate goal is to become a cardiothoracic surgeon. A cardiothoracic surgeon is a medical doctor who specialises in surgical procedures of the heart, lungs, esophagus, and other organs in the chest.

The teen is encouraging other students to find a study time that works best for them, to remain focused, to not procrastinate, and to utilise multiple sources to gather information, including reliable websites and textbooks. She said that in the end, hard work really does pay off.

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