Despite tough learning conditions that worsened when the covid19 pandemic hit, Santa Maria RC School students in Moruga persevered and excelled in the 2021 Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) exams.
Seven students from the rural school wrote the exams.
"We are extremely proud of all of them (four boys and three girls). The parents were ecstatic. This is our best results in years," said principal Geneieve Francis.
"For the first time in about 25 years, a student (Daniel Allen) has passed for St Stephen’s College in Princes Town. He is a model child. This is a celebration knowing the challenges we had to face even before the pandemic."
The three girls, Cherish Triea, Diana Johnson and Shenika Sydney, passed for ASJA Girls’ College in Barrackpore. Keon Fraser passed for Barrackpore East Secondary, Jayden Harricharan for Barrackpore West and Jaden Charles for Princes Town West Secondary.
Things seem to be looking up for the school at Penal Rock Road.
The principal said stakeholders have been helping the rural school fulfil its dreams. On behalf of the "blessed school," parents and students, she thanked them for their kind gesture.
The school received stationery from the NGO, I AM Moruga Foundation, desktops from Phoenix Park Gas Processors Ltd, and tablets from Massy Energy Engineered Solutions in collaboration with the Catholic Education Board of Management.
In 2018 after the 6.9 magnitude earthquake rocked TT, the already dilapidated wooden school was damaged, and officials deemed it a health and safety hazard.
The school had electrical problems and a lot of bat droppings in and around the compound.
The school lacked proper furniture, and the internet connection was poor. There was a computer lab without computers. The roads to the school were and still are deplorable.
For many years, the school had been used as a community centre.
For weeks after the earthquake, in October 2018, there were no classes until the then-MP, Dr Lovell Francis, offered to house staff and students at his constituency office in the community of Bois Jean Jean.
The 65-year-old school was demolished, and a prefab structure replaced the original building.
It was handed over on January 4. But with in-person classes on hold since last year, the students have not yet been to the new school.
"We are grateful for the new school and to corporate TT for blessing us. We thank everyone. We will finally be getting our computer lab once (physical) school reopens. We had a lab for more than ten years, and it was never outfitted," Francis said.
"We can realise our dreams to provide e-learning. Some parents do not know how to use basic platforms (on computers). Without a community centre, the school can be used to teach parents."