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Anna Regina Multi girls challenged themselves at CSEC

Top CSEC performers Zimeena Rasheed and Yogeeta Persaud

Sixteen-year-old Zimeena Rasheed is walking tall with what is possibly the best ever performance at any CXC-administered examinations across the region.

Education Minister Priya Manickchand on Tuesday travelled to the teen’s school in Essequibo and disclosed that she had copped 18 Grade Ones and two Grade Twos at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.

But the success for the Anna Regina Multilateral School did not end there as schoolmate Yogeeta Persaud wrote 18 subjects and secured all Grade One passes giving the school the top two places this year.

Manickhand noted that CXC was still to determine the top regional student given its rounded criteria but the feeling was that Rasheed was a shoo-in.

Asked why so many subjects Rasheed said she wanted to challenge herself and that it certainly was.

“It was a lot of work, with SBAs and lessons, so much lessons we forgot them sometimes and lots of studying,’ she said.

The confident youngster said she wanted to become a structural engineer and might be heading to the University of Guyana since her application was accepted.

She praised the dedication of the teachers in ensuring her success while adding that the school’s performance was due in large part to the relationship between them and parents. Ninety-four of the 172 students who wrote CSEC from the school passed with at least five subjects inclusive of Mathematics and English A.

“The parents they are a strong body and the teachers are all dedicated, I’d like to thank them for all of us, they were great,” she said.

Rasheed, a former Youth Ambassador for Guyana, is a member of the President’s Youth Award: Republic of Guyana (PYARG), a debator and a brown belt karateka.  

Her schoolmate, Persaud, is somewhat shyer but indicated that she too wanted to challenge herself.

“It’s great, it’s not something that I expected because some of the exams were tough and it’s like so …,” Persaud said as words to adequately describe her performance fled her.

The 16-year-old said she was undecided about a career path and believed that by doing so many subjects she would be able to get an idea of what she wanted. She added that she was still undecided but was leaning towards medicine.

Persaud had topped the Common Entrance examinations the year she entered secondary school.

Like Rasheed, she credited God, her parents and her teachers for her success with special mentions for her Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics teachers.

Persaud said she liked spelling bees and reading but was too nervous for other extra-curricular activities.  

“I expected this result, I knew we would have come first and second but I was  just waiting for confirmation, the students are that gifted,” said head teacher Lalljeet Ruplall.

He said the school’s success was due primarily to its relationships with the parents, the education ministry and the donor community.

“One thing I make sure as head teacher is that curriculum delivery is done. I along with the DHM would supervise these teachers on a regular basis, walk the building regularly and ensure they teach their pretty brilliant students so once that is done success will be there,” he added.

Ruplall said remedial classes are a regular feature at the school for the students who need the assistance while the teachers adopt special strategies to reach them.