Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 3rd 2014 Contents A6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Thursday, July 3, 2014
Friday 11th, Saturday 12th and Monday 14th July.
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RADHICA SOOKRAJ and YVONNE WEBB
For yet another year, girls have dominated the
top places in the Secondary Entrance Assessment
This year the top three also emerged from the
southland, Fyzabad, Palmiste and Barrackpore. All
three will take up places at the Naparima Girls s High
School, their first choice, come September.
The trio are Shivanna Chatoor, 12, Guyanese-born
Cameel Juman, 11, and Arielle Rambharose, 12.
In a whirlwind visit yesterday morning, Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, accompanied by
Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh, visited each
of the three schools where celebratory functions were
held to personally announce the high achievers and
offer congratulations and tokens.
The first stop was at the Avocat Vedic Primary
School, where young Shivanna was the centre of
attention as the PM declared that she had topped
the island in the examination.
This was followed by her visit to Grant Memorial
Presbyterian School where Juman, the daughter of
a medical doctor from Guyana, placed second, and
final stop at the San Fernando Muslim (ASJA) School
where third place student Rambharose attended.
Persad-Bissessar expressed joy at this year s results,
which she said was the best since 2008/9, and lauded
the excellence of the girls.
Her sentiments were echoed by Gopeesingh, who
said he was very satisfied with the results, which
saw the Continuous Assessment Component being
included in the final results.
"The percentage of students who scored above 50
per cent, 60 per cent and 90 per cent was the highest
for the period 2008 to 2014," the PM said.
At Grant Memorial
Presbyterian, a sur-
prised Cameel Juman
remained rooted to her
seat, even as the PM
announced her name as
Baksh and other teachers
had to urge her to come
up to the podium to
receive tokens from the
The PM hugged her,
remarking that the child
was shaking. Persad-
Bissessar then removed
her T&T pin from her
lapel and pinned it on
young Juman s collar.
The Prime Minister
also announced that of
the 69 schools which
among the top 100,
Grant Memorial was the
overall winner with 16 of
its students on the hon-
Only 13 months ago,
Cameel came to Trinidad
from her native Guyana
and enrolled in the Stan-
dard Five class taught by
Lyndon Jute. Her younger
brother Connor is also
enrolled at the school.
Her father Nehru
Juman is a medical doc-
tor attached to the Acci-
dent and Emergency
Department of the Point
Fortin Area Hospital.
Juman said his daugh-
ter had always been a
very industrious and
focused student and he
and his wife, Naseira
Shelly Juman, had no
doubt she would have
been among the top per-
However, he said he
and his wife were very
surprised when the PM
announced her as the
second place winner
expressed some surprise
but elation by her
accomplishment, said her
ambition was to follow
in her dad s footsteps and
become a doctor.
(See Page A7)
Grant Memorial 16 in top 100
Shivanna, the daughter of a Fyzabad farmer
and seamstress, who overcame all odds to score
the highest national mark, hugged her parents ---
Gaiyatri and Shevanand Chatoor --- and thanked
them for giving her support during one of the
most difficult periods of her life.
"It was a rough road but prayers and hard work
always pay off," she said excitedly after hearing
she had scored 99 per cent overall.
In the weeks before SEA, Shivanna said she
was in tears.
"Sometimes I felt like giving up but I would
always have my teacher and my parents giving
me that extra push," she said.
She explained that her days began at 5 am
with one hour of studying and ended at 7 pm
when she would return home after a full day of
class with her teacher Jyoti Bridglal-Komal and
Shivanna said her dream was to be a lawyer,
inspired by her love for debating even the most
Her teacher described her as an obedient,
humble child who organised hawan (prayers) for
her classmates every Thursday.
"Shivanna is hard working, disciplined and
always ready to help her classmates. At times
when I had to work with the children to do
quizzes for school, I left her in charge of the class.
She used to run my class," Bridglal-Komal
Chatoor's father, who rears cows and plants
crops for a living, said he always expected great
things from his eldest daughter.
"She took her studies seriously. She is the one
who likes to stay indoors. Her younger sister,
Trishanna, likes the outdoors," he said.
Shevanand said it was his ritual each day to
drop his daughter for extra lessons in Palmiste.
Girls shine again in SEA
A joyful Shivanna Chatoor, of Avocat Vedic Primary School, gets a kiss form her parents Shevanand and
Gaiyatri Chatoor after receiving news yesterday from Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar that she
topped the country in the Secondary Entrance Assessment exams (SEA ). PHOTO: RISHI RAGOONATH
Grant Memorial Presbyterian student Cameel Juman
is hugged by her mother, Naseria, after receiving her
SEA results yesterday. She placed second overall
nationally. PHOTO: TONY HOWELL
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