Skeldon Primary secures top spot in Reg. 6 as Berbice shines at NGSA


The top 10 pupils in Region Six from this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) have credited their successes to hard work and assistance from parents and relatives despite the numerous challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The News Room spoke to several elated pupils who secured the top spots in the region just hours after receiving their results on Friday. Many of them stated that they found out through the Ministry of Education’s live stream where the results were being announced by Education Minister Priya Manickchand.

Securing the number one spot in the region was Raphael Omarao of Skeldon Primary school. The aspiring mechanical engineer gained 518 marks, securing him a spot at Queen’s College.

Omarao said he felt “honoured and blessed” to be the top learner in Region Six, noting that he studied hard to prepare himself for the exams. He expressed thanks to the almighty, his parents, and his teachers who he said worked with him throughout the period leading up to the NGSA.

And, Omarao’s advice to pupils who will be sitting the next year’s exam is: “Focus and don’t overthink the questions.”

Sarah Mannu from the Cumberland Primary school

Following closely behind Omarao is 11-year-old Sarah Mannu, with 517 marks. She attended the Cumberland Primary School in East Canje Berbice and lives in the Fort Ordinance Housing Scheme.

Mannu, who beamed with joy while engaging reporters at her home, said she was nervous to speak but her words flowed freely as she spoke of the excitement she felt when she heard her results.

In fact, she said she was also watching the Ministry of Education’s live feed of the results when she heard her name and she highlighted, “I just felt shocked because I wasn’t expecting that.”

Mannu related that she studied hard and her parents believed in her and pushed her along the way even though studying and doing the work for school during the pandemic “was challenging.”

She hopes to one day become a lawyer because, for her, it is important that innocent people are well-represented.

“I want to defend the innocent people, it is not nice to see innocent people get bad treatment or go to jail so it is better to defend them”, Mannu stated.

Her advice to other pupils was: “Success just doesn’t come like that. I would advise them to study harder and educate yourself on the internet.”

Meanwhile, Mannu’s father who makes furniture for a living, told reporters that when his daughter began preparing and studying for her exams, she assured him that she would earn a spot at Queen’s College. And, his faith in her never wavered and he did all that he could to help her achieve her success.

Meanwhile, taking the third spot in the region was Miya Hari of the New Market Primary School in the No. 63 village in the Corentyne; she scored 516 marks, also securing a spot at Queen’s College.

Vishun Basdeo from the Rose Hall Estate Primary school, East Canje

Vishun Basdeo of Rose Hall Estate Primary followed in the fourth spot with 513 marks. He told reporters at his home in Adelphi Village, East Canje that he did not expect to do so well because, well, he simply did not study as often as many others.

“I didn’t really study because when my mom would tell me to go and study, I wouldn’t do it, I normally would be on the phone and watch television,” he said laughing, telling other children: “Don’t be like me… Study!”

He, however, noted that during his classes, he paid attention and retained the work taught to him. Basdeo aspires to become a doctor.

Jada Dhanpat from the Skeldon Primary school

In the fifth position with 512 marks is Jada Danpat of Skeldon Primary school. Danpat said she was very proud of herself for attaining the marks she did and that it was due to late-night studying, the help of her parents and teachers that helped her along the way to her path to success.

Tying with Danpat for the fifth spot are Rihanna Lewis of Port Mourant Primary school and Maranda Adams of All Saints Primary school. Lewis told reporters that she was confident that she would have placed in the ‘Top Ten’ since she dedicated most of her time to her studies and cut back on the extra-curricular activities.

Importantly, though, Lewis said that online learning was not much of a challenge for her since her mother took the time to help her when she did not understand.

Rihanna Lewis from the Port Mourant Primary school

Four pupils tied with 511 marks for the eighth spot; they are: Anmarie Sukhra of Cropper Primary School, in Albion, Corentyne, Berbice; Charita Jagarnauth of Tain Primary School; Ciel Clement of All Saints Primary School and Jameir Grant of St Aloysius Primary School.

Sukhra stated that she too was very excited upon hearing the news of her success, stating that she had performed as she hoped. She added that she attended regular zoom classes, studied hard, and focused on her work. Sukhra also noted that there were no challenges for her with online learning.

Anmarie Sukhra from the Cropper Primary school in Albion

Meanwhile, Cherita Jagarnauth revealed that she was sitting with her parents, watching the ministry’s live stream when they all heard her name announced.

“As the minister was reading out the top ten of each region, we started jumping after we heard that I was one of the top ten in Region Six”, she said, adding: “I felt so happy.”

For her, the decision on what would be her career path one day varies since there are times when she wants to become a veterinarian, and other days, she wants to take on an even more exciting career as a pilot.

While she has many years ahead to make that decision, she advised other pupils to “put interest in your studies and spend your leisure time properly.”

Charita Jagarnath with her parents

Jagarnauth thanked her grandmother, who she said is a former grade six teacher but is currently residing overseas. She added that when she could not understand things, she would call her grandmother for assistance. She also thanked her mom and dad for their selfless efforts in preparing her for the success she has attained. Gratitude was also given to her teachers.

Ciel Clement from the All Saints Primary school

During the months leading up to the NGSA exams, these Grade Six pupils could return to school for face-to-face learning with the necessary safety measures in place.

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