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With just one mark away from securing a place at President’s College 12-year-old Obama Atherly of Bartica, is seeking out the Minister of Education, Priya Manickhand, to see with his eagerness to attend one of the top schools in the country.
On a live programme on Facebook with former Youth Minister, Simona Broomes on Wednesday, the young man explained how the COVID-19 pandemic severely affected his performance at the recent National Grade Six Assessment.
Atherly lives in a single parent home in Four Miles Housing Scheme, and unfortunately for him, that area in Bartica is seriously challenged with internet connection. In fact, Bartica in generally suffers significantly in that area. Consequently, for months there was no school for him and no zoom classes, and he was unable to finish the syllabus before the exams. He shared that his mother is a nurse and he would sometimes have to go to the hospital with her to use her phone to try and access zoom classes, but it was not always successful given the internet constraints.
The student said he was always a high performer but he believes had it not been for the pandemic and the constraints in his life that caused him not to keep abreast with his educational material, he would have easily secured a place in the school of his dreams. He said that school is Saint Stanislaus College, but with his performance he is closer to PC than Saints, and as such he would really love if the Minister can see with his plight and allow him to attend the A school.
Atherly placed fourth in Region Seven, with 485 Marks, and was awarded Three Miles Secondary School. Both the former Minister and the young man, expressed their confidence in hearing back from the Education Minister.
Broomes noted that she knows the Minister, and she will ensure that his story is heard. Additionally, she presented Atherly with an electronic tablet, to assist with his online studies in the future.