TOBAGO-BORN Christa McClure scored 514 out of a maximum 523 marks to earn 17th place in Guyana’s National Grade Six Assessment and has earned a place at Queen’s College. Over 16,000 pupils wrote the exam, which determines secondary school placements.
Christa was born in Scarborough, Tobago, and attended Aunt Catherine’s Learning Centre and Scarborough RC School before migrating with her parents to Guyana. She joined the Stella Maris Primary School in 2018 as a Grade Three pupil. Her father, Cordell McClure, told the Express that her transition to Guyana was somewhat challenging.
“When she came, she was behind in all four subjects, particularly social studies and science. At that time, she was averaging around 87 per cent, but we understood how competitive this exam is, and we knew she needed to get above 95 per cent to be able to secure a spot in one of the top schools,” he reflected.
For Christa, the transition was complicated because the culture, people’s accents and the intensity of work were different. She recalled challenges with social studies which required her to learn extensive details about Guyana’s geography and culture. “It was a lot of work and I had little time to get settled,” the aspiring lawyer related to the Express. Christa explained that over two years, she spent many hours each day preparing for the exam. Her preparation involved attending after-school lessons, work with her grandmother and parents on evenings, and extra lessons on Saturdays.
“Saturday afternoons was my only rest time, which I used to catch up on my online games and chat with friends,” the 11-year-old said. One month before the exam, she attended an intense session with a private tutor and joined her class teacher from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. for additional lessons. “There are a lot of excellent students competing for top spots in this exam; if you want to do well, you have to put in the effort,” her father added.
For the exam, Christa scored just over 98 per cent, with stellar performances in mathematics and science. This performance earned her a top-ten spot in the Georgetown district and the top performance for her school.
Both Christa and her father said they were overwhelmed when the results were announced by the Minister of Education during a live broadcast. “We were sitting in my office listening to the announcement of the results, when we heard her name mentioned among the top students. I cannot articulate that feeling, it was extremely emotional,” her father said.
For Christa, it was a surreal moment. “I knew I did well. I was sure I made it to a top school, but I was so nervous as I watched. I was stunned, excited and emotional,” she related. Christa remains adamant that she does not intend to stray far from her roots. She stressed that upon completion of her tertiary education, she intends to return to her homeland Tobago to contribute to the island’s development.
Credit: Source link