Look at me now, says Donneka Clarke
Despite the financial hardships experienced by her parents, which has resulted in her being absent from school regularly, Donneka Clarke has defied the odds and has emerged as the top student at Nonsuch Primary in Portland.
Donneka, who hails from the farming district of Nonsuch, is from a humble background with a father not fully employed and a housewife mother. Both parents find it extremely difficult to send her to school and to provide her with lunch money on a daily basis, which has seriously affected her attendance to meet the required sessions.
"She is really a special child," said principal Marlise Adiansingh. "Both parents are hard-pressed for cash, which resulted in her attending school irregularly. As a matter of fact, she is absent more often than present. The results were quite shocking and it only goes to show that with the necessary help, financial and otherwise, she could go a far away academically.
Donneka, who told The Gleaner that although her attendance caused her to miss out on the concepts taught, it did not deter her from adequately preparing for GSAT, so as to attend the school of her dream, Titchfield High.
MANY HARD DAYS
"Preparation was not easy as some days lunch money was hard to come by," she said.
"My greatest fear is mathematics, but I promise to find a way to overcome it. My GSAT success brings back memories of a popular song by reggae artiste Nesbeth, with the line 'look at me now (My Dream)'. When my mother heard that I passed for Titchfield, she was very shocked. In her excitement, she asked the principal tree times, just to make sure. She was so overjoyed," she added.
Donneka's grades are mathematics, 58; science 80; social studies, 80; language arts, 72; and communication task, 91, for an average of 76.2 per cent.