Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 12th 2015 Contents B9
July 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
CHARLES KONG SOO
Roger Rajan, 50, a divorcee, would
rise up early every morning and hit
the kitchen by 5 o clock, organising
breakfast and lunch for his sons, Reza
and Riyad, and then pack their lunch
kits for school.
He did this for seven years after he
and their mother went separate ways.
And the sacrifice has paid off.
Riyad, 12, is the student from the
Trinidad Muslim League (TML) Primary
School, on Farah Street, San Fernando,
who scored the second highest in the
2015 SEA (Secondary Entrance Assess-
ment) examination in T&T. He will be
going to his first choice, Naparima Boys
His older brother, Reza, 18, has also
excelled academically. Reza was the
first student from Renaissance Prepara-
tory Primary School, Vistabella, to pass
for Naparima College. The primary
school wanted him to give the feature
speech at its graduation ceremony, but
Reza had to decline the invitation as
the event fell on the same date he was
performing I tikaf at the San Fernando
Jama Masjid, Mucurapo Street, during
According to Rajan, Reza did well at
Cape, attaining three distinctions in
his first year. Reza will be attending
Waterloo University, Ontario, Canada,
When asked by the Sunday Guardian
how he felt about Riyad s accomplish-
ment, Rajan said "I ve been getting a
lot of calls congratulating me. Every-
body s telling me I must be a proud
"I tell them by no means I m a proud
person but I m happy for Riyad. It s a
lifetime achievement and will stay with
"That s what I try to instill in my
children. We don t try to glorify things,
we take it for what it s worth.
"When he looks back at this achieve-
ment even when he reaches my age,
he can reflect on this to see the bigger
He said it was very challenging bal-
ancing work and raising his children.
Rajan said running his land and engi-
neering surveying company, Voltec
Engineering & Surveying Services Ltd,
San Fernando, took a lot of his time.
He said, however, with the support
from his business partner and com-
mon-law wife, Melissa, he ensured that
his children had everything covered
academically, socially and spiritually.
Rajan said every year they would get
at least one vacation, most likely a trip
to Orlando, Florida, USA.
The secret to SEA success
He said he did a lot of work with
Riyad, doing practice tests, helping him
with his studies.
Rajan s strong points were mathe-
matics and science and he used this to
spur Riyad on. He said his weak area
was languages and he eventually hired
a tutor for Riyad.
Rajan said the school also had a very
positive experience on Riyad---while
classes usually finished at 3 pm, classes
were extended to 4.30 pm for the stu-
dents writing SEA exams.
He said while Riyad s study schedule
was very rigorous, it was balanced with
play time and recreation.
Rajan said he participated actively
in his son s school activities and when
Riyad s result was announced at the
school many teachers cried.
He said the principal told him that
good fortune could not have happened
to a better person who gave so much
of his time to the school.
Rajan said parents must know and
understand their children, combine
that with prayers, proper planning
and love, and know when to de-
He said Melissa, the mother of
their three-year-old daughter,
Arisa, not only helped him in his
business but with the household
Rajan said their 76-year-old
grandmother was a very positive
influence on the boys since she
drove over to their Gulf View home
every evening to spend time with
them. The boys also spent time
with their mother, Shabana Aziz,
since she has joint custody of
Advice for single
When Rajan was asked what
advice he had for single parents or
recent divorcees having to raise
children on their own, he said he
believed that the love and
attention that a mother gave to
her children, a father can do the
He said sometimes there was
going to be messy divorces with
fighting and court battles for the
children, but that was not the best
approach. Rajan said children
should always be the main focus
for parents even during the divorce.
I tell them by no means I'm
a proud person but I'm hap-
py for Riyad, it's a lifetime
achievement and will stay
That's what I try to instill in
my children, we don't try to
glorify things, we take it for
what it's worth.
Fathers can do it too
Divorcee nurtured SEA second-place winner:
Roger Rajan, with his children, three-year-old Arisa, Reza, 18, second-
highest-placed 2015 SEA student Riyad, 12, and Rajan's wife, Melissa,
at his aunt's home in San Fernando.
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