On the day of the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination on July 1, many children would have received hugs, kisses, pep talks, prayers, moral support and cheers from their parents and siblings as they head to write the exam.
Eleven-year-old Aryon Bachue’s parents and sibling could not be with him on that momentous day as his father was hospitalised with COVID-19 and his mother and brother were quarantined at home because of the virus.
He did not see his family for weeks as he had tested negative and had to stay and study at a relative’s home.
In addition, Aryon had broken his writing arm earlier and his fingers were still not functioning as well as before the injury.
His now-former school, Penal Rock Presbyterian School almost had to request an emergency concession for him.
Nevertheless, Aryon showed his grit and determination to write the SEA exam and passed for his second choice, but his personal preference, Shiva Boys’ Hindu College.
Speaking to the Sunday Guardian from his home in Penal, Aryon said “My mommy, Sharrly Bachue, younger brother, Aiden and my father, Visham Bachue came down with COVID-19.
“Mom and Aiden had to quarantine at home, but dad got really sick and had to be taken to the Point Fortin Hospital.
“My results were negative and I had to go by a relative not too far from here. “I missed them a lot, it was hard to concentrate and study, but I focused on my work in the SEA exam and did my best for them and my teachers.”
He said Ms Eva Ragbir taught him his online lessons via his tablet.
Aryon disclosed that the actual SEA exam did not present him with any challenges, his favourite subjects were Mathematics and Creative Writing, however his left hand, his writing hand, was not completely healed.
He related that during last year’s Christmas week while riding the bicycle he received as a gift, one of the tyres flew and he fell fracturing his left hand.
Aryon’s hand was placed in a cast and his mother had to help him write during his online classes.
He was excited to pass for the school he wanted, and only one other friend was going to the same school as him.
Aryon said, however, that he will still be in contact with his schoolmates as many of them live nearby, he can chat with his friends and also play games with them online.
In his spare time, he plays with his two dogs, Jango and Poly, he likes the outdoors and playing cricket.
Aryon likes home-cooked food the best, one of his favourite dishes is his mother’s stewed chicken, and vegetables such as cucumber lettuce, and sweet pepper.
He wants to be a fireman when he grows up.
Sharrly Bachue, Aryon’s mother disclosed that he stayed with a relative for one month while they were in quarantine and it was that relative who carried him to sit the SEA exam.
Bachue broke out laughing as she described when she received the news that Aryon had passed for his preferred school. She could not believe it, was in shock and could not talk initially.
She was proud that he did well and as he always wanted to go to Shiva Boys’ Hindu College. Bachue said his teacher Ms Ragbir encouraged her to put Iere High School as his first choice, but Aryon really wanted Shiva Boys’ as his first choice. “God let it happen and he passed for the college.”
Bachue recalled that her son went through tremendous odds and it was a very challenging time for him.
Penal Rock Presbyterian School Principal Kerry Ann Ramnath said Aryon did exceedingly well considering his circumstances.
She recounted that he was separated from his parents and sibling weeks before the exam, he went into the examination room knowing his father was hospitalised and he was still recovering from a broken hand.
Ramnath said, however, Aryon was determined to make his parents proud.
Not only did he shine academically, but she also said he showed great courage, strength and determination by performing so well.
“We, the school, the principal and his teacher rendered as much support as we could to his family during their difficult time. We are very proud of his success,” Ramnath said.