Eleven-year-old J’Dira Regis who hails from Union Island now boasts the gentle distinction of having placed 8th for girls, 1st throughout all Grenadines primary schools and 13th overall in the recently concluded Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment exercise with a grade point average of 93%.
A medical doctor in waiting, J’Dira’s phenomenal success came about as a result of much concerted effort from herself, her dedicated Mary Hutchinson Primary School teachers and Jose-Ann Wilson, her mother.
“It was a bit challenging, I must say, because of the COVID-19 situation and all of that but with the help of all of her Grade 6 teachers, she was able to stay focused and with my help – we did a lot of past papers, watched a lot of YouTube videos and researching and finding all the information that I thought was appropriate to prepare J’Dira for these exams.
“To be honest J’Dira is a very independent worker. She knows what she has to do and it’s not like I had to always be right there with her to prepare and to say: ‘J’Dira this is what you have to do.’
“So, she was able to work on her own and she was also enrolled in an online program – I think it’s called the CPEA exams online – so she had access to that as well and she looks for information for herself. Things that are very useful and that will help her to prepare,” Wilson – who is also a teacher at the Mary Hutchinson Primary School – explained.
J’Dira offered a word of encouragement to those children who may have gotten too distracted on their government issued smart devices to properly prepare for the CPEA exams.
“Balance your time. You should know when to study or you can make a timetable like I did. You would have a time when you could study and then you would have a time when you can go on your device and play games and do what you want to do and then go back to study,” she said.
Although she was aware of the barriers to learning that popped up due to the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic in particular, J’Dira assured us that her single-minded determination helped her to seize the day.
“It was O.K.” she said of this past year’s, somewhat abnormal, pre-CPEA exams period. “Because I knew that it was online, I knew that I had to stay focused, extremely focused, more focused than usual; keep studying and listening well in the classes.”
J’Dira’s heart is set on taking up her place at the St. Vincent Girls High School which – for her – “is one of the top schools and I’d know that I’m intelligent.
“So, I want to go there because of my ability and knowledge so I can study to become what I want to be.”
The specialty is not yet as clear as her dream to be a Doctor of Medicine but her drive to accomplish has not diminished.
McDonald Regis, another extremely proud father, confessed that he shed tears of joy when he first heard the news.
“I am very, very, very proud of my daughter. I felt so overwhelmed. I’m telling you – ‘Cause I knew she would have done well but I wasn’t looking out for that position.
“I cry all thing. I was very emotional when I got the information. I was at home when I found out,” the Union Island Vinlec substation supervisor shared.
As for the 2022 batch of CPEA students, J’Dira’s message is simply this:
“Stay focused. Have confidence in yourselves, work hard and keep thinking that you would do well and try to do your best.”
JP Schwmon #SituationUpdates