bmobile Recognises Outstanding Tobago SEA Grads
TSTT Corporate Communications
Despite the challenges of remote school and shifts in the final exam dates, the top-performing students in Tobago’s 2021 SEA exams all reflected on their successes and their joy in getting back to classes. Bishop’s High School, Tobago, was selected by all top three students as their first choice for Secondary School studies.
The top three in Tobago were recognised and awarded for their diligence and perseverance in challenging times by the nation's native telecommunications company, bmobile. Ranking in order of placement in Tobago was Jole St. John of Scarborough Methodist, Raeya Charles of St. Andrews Anglican and Xzehanny Hazel of Black Rock Government. All three the gift of broadband connectivity from bmobile to assist them in the progression to Secondary School studies.
Gerard Cooper, General Manager Shared Services at TSTT, recognised the challenges that parents, students and the Ministry faced in an unprecedented year, noting the ‘tectonic shift in education that had to happen for schooling and examinations to continue.’ Cooper added, "Youth development remains one of the areas that we are most passionate about aside from our work as the nation's only truly local provider of communications. We do our best to uphold pillars in education as much as we do in co-curricular endeavours, sports and community engagement as we recognise that the investment in youth is easily one of the most rewarding. Our contribution in ensuring that as many as 10,000 students were provided with connectivity and smart devices last year shows just how passionate we are,” he recalled. “Today we also salute the parents, teachers, and officials at the Ministry of Education who faced many hurdles to bring those in the care through this process successfully,” he added. He also urged students who did not achieve the school of their choice, to not let it define their path, but to make the most of the opportunity in front of each of them.
Top student, Jole St. John was happy with her achievement, "Now that the exam has passed, I mostly feel a sense of relief that my sacrifices were rewarding. God, first of all, played a major role in my success, as did the dedication and commitment of my parents, which can't go unmentioned. “
The eloquent St. John was also grateful for her recognition as the top student. "Special mention must also go to Mrs. Amena Sandy, my Standard 4-5 Teacher at Scarborough Methodist Primary School, Ms. Melanie Trim at Sure Pass Tutoring Ltd and Mrs. Kimarie Richardson-Thomas at the Academy of Creative English," she added. She credited her success to ‘hard work, commitment, time management and staying focused.’ The top placed student also added that a ‘strong support system is important’ and to also ‘take time to rest too.' She hopes to become an Ob-Gyn (Obstetrician-Gynecologist) as she is passionate about women's health and prenatal care for babies. "I also offer my thanks to bmobile for recognising the importance of national youth and for the commendable reward systems established. Thank you for investing in the future," she added.
The second-placed top SEA performer from Tobago, Raeya Charles, was also grateful that her hard work had paid off. She credited her academic excellence to "paying attention in class, participating when needed, and doing practice tests" but also advised students to find activities to help them relax. While Raeya has not decided on a career, it will likely be in dance and drama, and she also enjoys reading, watching some TV, and dancing. "So far Bishop's (High School) has been fun and I like all my teachers. I advise anyone sitting the SEA to not stress too much! I thank God, my family and my Standard Five and extra lessons teachers for believing in me. I am forever grateful for this recognition," she noted.
Third-placed student Xzehanny (pronounced Zay-han-nee) Hazel who was also the top male SEA performer in Tobago, graduated from Black Rock Government Primary School. “I was ecstatic when I heard because I made many sacrifices and worked very hard to be prepared for this exam. I had a goal in mind and always believed in myself and persevered, keeping my focus and never forgot to dream big,” he stated. He credited keeping a timetable as core to his success alongside his willingness to ask for help from parents and teachers if he needed it. Xzehanny hopes to become a surgeon or anesthesiologist. Life at Bishop’s High School has been enjoyable for the top placed male student in Tobago and he advises incoming SEA students to remember that any school is a good school. “Continue to work hard, believe in yourself, complete your assignments in time and keep revising,” he recommended. He also thanked God, his parents, Dr Selvon Hazel, Tracy McMillan, his family, and his principal Mrs. Johnson and his Standard Five teacher, Ms. Mitchell, as well as all his teachers at Black Rock Government.
TSTT partnered with Digicel and the Telecommunications Authority of Trinidad and Tobago in 2020 to procure over 10,000 devices for students of households affected by the economic fallout of the pandemic. Parents were also offered special rates for data to enable remote schooling to minimise the disruption to students’ education access across T&T.