— Region 2 celebrates success of NGSA 2019 top performer

CV Nunes Primary School in Anna Regina, Essequibo Coast, has reclaimed its spot as the top performer of Region 2.

Formerly the Anna Regina Primary School, CV Nunes was renamed in honour of former Headmaster and Minister of Education, Cedric Vernon Nunes during the early 2000s. Nunes was credited with the transformation of the education system.

This year CV Nunes has produced the top performer of the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) examinations.news 20190709 20

Venisha Lall, a bubbly 11-year-old, is the only child of her parents. At her school on Friday, students and teachers were elated. The six-graders were saying their customary goodbyes, affixing their signatures on each other’s uniforms. Lall was part of all the excitement – a celebration, she said, after hard work.

“I have been studying for seven years for NGSA. It all began when I was so little” she said. “My schedule was I would wake up at six, go to school at eight, my mom comes to see me at twelve, go to lessons at three. I have a dance class at 06:30, get home at seven, study for an hour and go to bed at eight.”news 20190709 30

Despite her “busy schedule”, Venisha’s mom Radikha Lall said her daughter made time to give back to the community. The simple country girl refused her father’s offer to attend a private school.

“She is jolly. She is a happy child. She loves to be part of public arrangements, no private arrangements. She is a dancer, part of the Swarswati Dance Academy, she’s part of the pageantry. And all of these would go towards the community,” the older Lall told DPI.

She said her “princess” has been excelling “all the time”.

The school’s performance at this year’s examination could certainly not have been possible without the input of Deputy Headmistress, Bindawattie Ketwaru. The acting head said she took the Grade Six Hibiscus students under her wings when they were in the fourth grade. The potential she saw was great. “We came back here with our own experiences, and we have decided to work hard to apply what we know, to ensure that this school becomes successful. I felt that it was possible. I was not surprised,” she said of the top spot.

The success of CV Nunes can also be credited to the efforts of the region’s Education Department.news 20190709 21

Regional Education Officer (ReDO), Nicola Matthews said the school was the hub of the Ministry of Education’s gifted programme, which targeted students with special academic abilities. CV Nunes has four students in the programme, who all placed in the region’s top ten.

“It is a real joy for us in the region. About five years ago, CV Nunes was not performing the way it should. But in 2018, they took back their position as number one in the region. In 2019, not only is the school number one in the region but in the country,” she told the Department of Public Information (DPI).

“I believe that once we continue to work together, officers together with the parents and teachers, we will continue to be on top of things. We are looking forward to such performance continuously in this region.”

Lall’s classmates, including her best friend Gevasha Cyndoharpaul, secured the coveted top spots.news 20190709 22

The excitement has spilt over in the community. Kamalawattie Ramesh fondly known as ‘Aunty Mudo’ has been selling in front of the school for over two decades. She was overwhelmed with emotion when DPI spoke to her. “I am proud of the school. I am very happy. I am happy because I know the child going to the school and she is going to the same Mandir I’m going, so I’m proud of her,” she said amidst tears.

Then we caught up with Ivy Sealey – a grandmother who said: “I feel happy because the student has lifted up Essequibo and I feel happy about it. I would always encourage children to focus on their education.”

Resident Omkar Singh said: “In Essequibo, most people spend quality time with their children because education is better than silver and gold. I am happy about what is going on the Essequibo Coast,” he said.

Another resident, Kenisha Walcott said the region has endless potential. “I think it was incredible. And for the parents of Venisha, they should be proud. I believe that when these kids come from school, parents should assist with homework so that they could be successful.”

Minister of Business, Haimraj Rajkumar visited the region, on Friday, to award top performers of several primary schools. A former student of the Suddie Primary School, the minister said he was incredibly proud of the performance of the region, particularly CV Nunes Primary.

“I am very happy; this is not the first time Region 2 has produced the top student at the National Grade Six Assessment, so we have been doing good,” he said.