Wed | Nov 25, 2020

Cousins excel in CSEC

Published:Saturday | October 10, 2020 | 12:11 AMGareth Davis Sr/Gleaner Writer
Three cousins who excelled in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams this year pose for a photograph in Shrewsbury, Portland. From left  are 18-year-old Mickiela Rhoden, 17-year-old Donneka Edwards, and 17-year-old Shawantae Ramnaught.
Three cousins who excelled in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate exams this year pose for a photograph in Shrewsbury, Portland. From left are 18-year-old Mickiela Rhoden, 17-year-old Donneka Edwards, and 17-year-old Shawantae Ramnaught.

Three cousins living in Shrewsbury, a volatile community in west Portland, have excelled academically and are among some of the top achievers at their school in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.

The impressive grades acquired by the three female students – Mickiela Rhoden, Donneka Edwards, and Shawantae Ramnaught – who all attended Titchfield High School, is a proven testimony to hard work and dedication and the results that can be achieved despite economic hardships and other challenges.

Ramnaught secured eight distinctions in mathematics, English language, principles of accounts, principles of business, Caribbean history, electronic document management, integrated science, and economics.

“I expected to do well in CSEC, so it wasn’t any surprise that I got eight ones,” commented the 17-year-old student.

“I will definitely be going to sixth form,” said Ramnaught, adding that her intention is to obtain distinctions also in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) exams.

Ramnaught’s success in the CSEC exams has left her mother, Sherine Cotterell, rejoicing. She recounted that there were many sleepless nights leading up to the exams, especially during the break from school, brought about by COVID-19.

“There were challenges as we had to learn to adjust to the changes as classes were held online, which was something new for my child,” said Cotterell.

“I had to be up with her, running up and down and trying to get things done so as to ensure that she is (was) ready for the CSEC. She is always home doing her schoolwork, and her father, Steve Ramnaught, gave her his full support.”

Adjusted to changes caused by COVID-19

Donneka Edwards, who got seven distinctions and a grade three in her CSEC exams, shared that it was stressful for her as she had to learn to adjust to the changes brought about by the coronavirus. She said that the most difficult period was adjusting to the online classes, which was something new, not only for her, but other students.

“The teachers were very supportive, and they did their best to assist us along the way,” said Edwards.

“I, too, will be going to sixth form like my cousins, and I am aiming to do well in my CAPE exams. My ambition is to become a lawyer as I believe a lot of persons are in need of quality representation in the quest for justice,” she concluded.

Edwards’ mother, Donnarie Kelly, is basking in her daughter’s success, saying that her achievement was a proud moment for the family.

“She is a very ambitious girl, and she strives for what she wants,” Kelly said.

“There were sleepless nights, and I was always up with her,” said Kelly.

“I remember her saying to me when she was going out to sit the exam, ‘Mommy, I feel like you’re sending me out on the battlefield and I might not return’,” Kelly recalled.

But after day one, she said that all was well.

Mickiela Rhoden, 18, had to cope with the passing of her sister, which is still fresh in her memory.

She obtained a grade one pass, six grade two passes, and a grade three. “I was affected, and I think it had a lot to do with the preparation of the SBA (school-based assessment),” Rhoden said.

“Most teachers weren’t really accustomed to the online teaching, so we didn’t get much help in preparing some of the SBAs. We just did it and sent it in and just got a grade.”

Rhoden is aiming to become a market expert and brand manager in the future. “I will be going to sixth form also, where I will do CAPE subjects,” she said.