What do you do when your heart is set on studying abroad, but you cannot afford it?
You write 27 subjects- every single subject offered by your school- and hope that you can clinch a scholarship. At least that was Ramoll Baboolall’s plan.
Baboolall, a student of the Anna Regina Multilateral School on the Essequibo Coast in Region Two (Pomeroon- Supenaam), secured 24 Grade One passes at this year’s sitting of the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
He also secured three Grade two passes, tying for the highest number of Grade One passes with his schoolmate Uotam Heeralall. That schoolmate scored 24 Grade one passes and one Grade two pass.
Baboolall, however, wrote the higher number of subjects- a herculean task to pursue, particularly when the standard school’s time-table caters for just about half of that.
“It takes so much out of you.
“… I devoted my everything to this,” Baboolall told the News Room moments after he found out his preliminary results on Monday.
He explained that he attended numerous extra lessons, had dedicated study time and supportive teachers willing to forgo some of their lunchtimes to help him with his school work.
All of that was done because of his commitment to clinch a scholarship.
His mother Chaitwattie Narain, Baboolall’s mathematics teacher and the head of the mathematics department at the Anna Regina school, spoke about this underpinning drive.
According to her, the young man was keen on furthering his studies abroad and was particularly attracted to big, fancy colleges he saw while on vacation overseas. And he shared his desire to attend one of those schools with her.
“I said, ‘Son, those things cost millions of dollars and your mommy cannot afford it. The only thing that can help you to go there… is for you to achieve a scholarship.’
“And that was the idea behind the 27 subjects,” Narain said.
Narain is a single mother to Baboolall and his older sister. Not only is his achievement one that makes all of his hard work well worth it, but it is one that his mother cherishes.
“It’s an emotional moment for me.
“You know when you are poor, and you come from a poor home and you would’ve sacrificed everything to give your children an education and they are successful, it would mean so much to you as a parent,” an emotional Narain said.
Now, the young man, an aspiring biochemist, will await his final results and see whether he has qualified for one of the scholarships offered by the Government of Guyana or the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC).
Until then, he has some time to catch up on his favourite TV show (though, he already finished the latest season of Stranger Things) and think about his future.
“I feel like I have to move forward with my studies,” the top student says.
“There’s no going back after doing 27 subjects.”