Caught by surprise! The NGSA trio never envisioned topping country


Three children, from three different schools in three different education districts, tied for the top spot at this year’s National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA).

Neuel Bancroft from the Annandale Primary School in Region Four, Angelica Subryan from the Cumberland Primary School in Region Six and Jonathon Gomes from the Jos-El Educational Institute from District 11 (Georgetown) each got 518 marks out of a possible 523.

They all studied diligently to ace Guyana’s secondary school placement examination. Even so, topping the country wasn’t necessarily a given.

In fact, doing so was a surprise for the trio.

Subryan, a quiet pupil from the Ancient Country of Berbice, recounted the countless days she spent studying and preparing for the assessment. It involved lots of early mornings and after school lessons.

“It was a very hard challenge,” she said.

Because of the time and effort dedicated to preparing for the assessment, she knew she would’ve done well. But the aspiring doctor did not really envision herself scoring higher than the more than 16,000 pupils across the country who sat this year’s assessment.

Her stellar performance was not only a surprise for her, though.

Her father, Jermaine, told reporters on Friday: “She was a very dedicated student. We would’ve expected her to have a good performance, but not as good as this.”

Then there was Bancroft.

The young man sat among his peers in the Arthur Chung Conference Centre at Liliendaal, Georgetown, on Friday morning eagerly awaiting his score. As Education Minister Priya Manickchand read off the scores, he said his palms were sweaty.

He was both nervous and anxious. But he knew that he had to be among the top performers because he was invited to the Centre.

When his name and grades were called, it was almost like a sense of relief washed over him.

His “strict study ritual” and his efforts at perusing the Education Ministry’s consolidated curriculum every night paid off.

Even so, moments later, he said, “I never thought that I would’ve placed so high in the NGSA exams.”

The Annandale boy now looks forward to his Queen’s College journey, and one day becoming a pilot.

Finally, in the top three, is Jonathan Gomes. He’s a young man with a way with words, who copped this year’s best narrative essay.

Unlike the other two top performers, he thought about topping the country.

In fact, he and his mother Stacey Monah-Gomes carefully examined what was needed to get the top school Queen’s College. And they worked together to get it done.

For now, he isn’t exactly sure what his professional aspirations are, but he believes that once you set goals for yourself, anything is possible.

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