Nishtha Mohan,12, who spent most of her time being home-schooled and praying, placed third overall in the 2012 SEA examination according to yesterday's results. Nishtha tied with Victoria Maharaj of Avocat Vedic with the third best result. Topping the exam was Rebecca Jattan of Canaan Presbyterian in La Romaine while Shemiah Grant of Atwell's Educational Centre of Tacarigua was second overall. Nishtha's mother, Fariel Mohan,46, said her daughter, who attended the Freeport Presbyterian School, never took any extra lessons and was allowed to watch her favourite TV shows whenever she wanted. She said she was not satisfied with the support her daughter received at the school and decided when she entered Standard 5 that she would home school her in preparation for the SEA exam.
Nishtha was, however, allowed to attend Freeport Presbyterian twice each week so she would qualify to write the exam. Mohan, who lectures in maths at UTT, Point Lisas, said too much extra lessons causes stress. "I teach students to understand, not to cram, and instead learn by relating to life," she said. Nishtha's father Dr Permanand Mohan,47, lectures in computer science at UWI. He attributes his daughter's success to her relationship with God. Nishtha's father also taught her English language and creative writing. An overjoyed Nishtha said she is looking forward to attending St Augustine Girls' High School in September and making new friends. She said staying home and studying was comfortable and an enjoyable experience.