Visually impaired student aims for top school as she sits the 2017 NGSA


Written by Mark Murray

Hundreds of students around the country are sitting the National Grade Six Assessment which is slated for today (Wednesday, April 12, 2017) and tomorrow (Thursday, April 13, 2017). Today, we share with you a story of a little girl with big dreams, who is not allowing her physical disability to spite her from achieving that dream.

“At first it was very difficult, but when we get to find out there is nothing that can be done to give her back the sight we start finding ways to cope with it,” said 12-year-old Angelica Bassoo’s mother, Marexa Paul.

The 12-year-old for the last several months would have been preparing for this day, where she would be tested in the areas of Mathematics, English, Science and Social Studies at the St. Agnes Primary School.

She told this publication that she was ready to take on yet another challenge in her little life, since being able to sit the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) this year, was one step closer to her achieving a dream.

12-year-old Angelica’s Basso


“The school that I hoping for is Queens College because is a top school and I like it. I use to go Lesson, and I use to study at home and in school,” she said, with a bright smile on her face while playing with her tiny fingers.

“When I was in the lower classes they use to rush through the lessons but now even though they don’t rush through in Grade Six; I would not understand. I would go to the Unit (Resource Unit for the Blind and Visually Impaired), and I would understand there,” added young Bassoo.

Marexa Paul (Left) and her friend Celeste Belgrave

Her mother, Marexa Paul recounted that “When the doctor told” her for the first time that her child would never be able to use her eyes she felt “like my heart stop.”

Coming to grips with that reality was a challenge which she praises support from Angelica’s best friend’s mother, Celeste Belgrave. “She was very and still is very supportive and thanks to her I was able to raise Angelica to be the person she is today,” said the woman.

Ms Paul said while it was not easy having a visually impaired child, over the years her daughter would develop a likeness for learning.  According to her “Angelica is a brave child, and when it comes to Education, she loves anything to do with Education she is there, she is willing to learn.”

In the life of this preteen, there were doubtful days said the mother. “At first, it was a bit stressful I should say for her. She use to complain a lot especially when she turn out to school. The other children would pick at she yah know and after a while, she start grooving into things,” the single parent related.

It did not take long for the young girl with a warm personality to win the hearts of her peers, “and things start to become easy for her, and the people around her start treating differently because they see she acting different. She just fit in with the ordinary children. Eventually, they stop seeing she to be a different or somebody different,” said Angelica’s Mother.

This Single Parent said getting her child ready for the examination would not have been possible without the help of the class teacher, her elder son and the support from the Resource Unit for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

This mother believes her child is “fully prepared” to do her best at the examination, which will later determine where she continues her Secondary education.

Mother; Marexa Paul


“To me, the only subject that a bit hard and a bit difficult for her is Mathematics especially the fractions, for some reason she wasn’t getting it, but at late she spend most of the time at the Unit during the last couple weeks, and the teachers there worked round the clock,” but when it comes to Social Studies is her favorite subject.

The proud mother said for “the other subjects she does do well in them it’s just Mathematics and for English, Composition part of it and for some reason, she don’t get composition, she does try with it but it, don’t come the way she want it to come.”

It is the thought of being a parent which keeps this young mother going since she said: “these two children in my life is everything to me, so when you wake up in the morning it’s just to make sure that they are comfortable and happy and getting things in place.”

Even though Angelica is visually impaired, this young lover of soul music whose favourite international artiste is Gwen Stefani would usually have the song “used to love you” on repeat.

Singing is another hobby Angelica enjoys in her pastime aside from the hunger for studying and like every other child; there is always room for a little fun time with friends.

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