Beacon of the day | Student from rural Clarendon shatters 9 CXC subjects despite internet problems

Technology could have left Kaylia Bennett in big trouble when online classes suddenly became the in-thing, due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Kaylia lives in a deep rural community – Long Grass in Clarendon – where internet access is limited.

“It affected me drastically,” she said in relation to COVID-19 and the switch to online classes.

Kaylia further explained: “I live is a small rural community where only a handful of houses have internet connection – with mine being excluded. In attending online classes and all the works, I was absent most of the times. However, I would ask my classmates what was discussed, then I would do my own research and reading to somewhat catch up. Another disadvantage was the distraction.”

Despite the setbacks, Kaylia surprised herself with the highest grade available (Grade One) in nine CSEC subjects from the Caribbean Examination Council (CXC).

The subjects are:

  • Biology – Grade One
  • Chemistry – Grade One
  • English A – Grade One
  • Mathematics – Grade One
  • English B – Grade One
  • Geography – Grade One
  • Technical Drawing – Grade One
  • Principles of Business – Grade One
  • Electronic Document Preparation and Management – Grade One

“I did not believe I was going to perform as good as I did. However, I did have some amount of confidence,” Kaylia told The Beacon.

Her desire to be an inspiration in her community was among the factors that drove her to do well.

“The community where I come from, not many persons have made it pass primary school education,” Kaylia explained. “For me to be one of the few who have gotten the chance to pursue further education; I try my best not to waste the opportunity.”

Kaylia, whose father died in 2018, also wanted to make her mother proud.

Her mother, Tricia Smith, told The Beacon: “I am super proud of my daughter’s performance.”

She added: “My daughter works very hard and is 100 percent into her school work. Through this pandemic, she made her own timetable chart with all nine subjects and the time she would take to study each day. I was confident she would make me proud because she has been doing that from infant school. As a mother, I started out early to teach her the value of a good education.”

Meanwhile, Kaylia, who intends to pursue a career in the field of Medicine, is now enrolled in sixth form at her alma mater – Glenmuir High School.

She previously attended Moores Primary and Infant School.


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