A major problem faced by children who have hidden disabilities is that people and teachers don’t see the disability and don’t believe them.
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Top SEA student: Keep God in front
As she prepares for her first day at her new school on Tuesday, top Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) student Shivanna Chatoor offers this advice to fellow students: “Keep God in front.” Shivanna, who scored 99 per cent in the exam and is embarking on her secondary school journey at Naparima Girls’ High School, is already clear about her future career path. She wants to be a lawyer, then a magistrate and even T&T’s next female prime minister.
“I want to get my point across and to help people,” she told the Sunday Guardian. Looking back at her SEA experience, she said, “It was not hard or easy, it was challenging.” She said during the time she was preparing for the exam, she didn’t have time to help out her father on the farm taking care of the cows, chickens and ducks, or planting crops.
Shivanna said her father, Shivanand, a Hindu, installed a prayer room in their home and she would pray regularly there for success in her exams. She said her mother, Gaitree, a seamstress, told her and her nine-year-old sister that she did not want cable television in the home because it would take their focus away from their studies. While stressing the importance of reviewing and doing practice tests, she advised, “Don’t leave out extracurricular activities.”
Shivanna said she was involved in the Red Cross and Cub Scouts at primary school and in music as a vocalist. Although she did not have a lot of time to watch her favourite sitcoms on TV during the July/August vacation, Shivanna said she enjoyed outdoor activities like playing cricket and football. Her other leisure activities are fashion, board games, electronic devices and spending time with her friends.