By: Raywattie Deonarine
For those who barely know her, Miss Navita Singh is a soft-spoken young woman who currently teaches Mathematics and Integrated Science at the Abram Zuil Secondary School in Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam).
But for Teacher Singh, this is more than just a job; it is a strong passion and a humble opportunity for her to contribute meaningfully to society by helping to shape young minds into tomorrow’s future leaders.
The many who can profess to know this 29-year-old educator would readily tell you that she is not only a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the delivery of education, but they might even describe her as the type of human being who never surrenders, not even in the face of the most daunting of challenges.
For Miss Singh, there is a method to her endurance which many will learn of in this concise but very informative chronicle of her life which focuses mainly on her years of educating students in two notable educational institutions on the Essequibo Coast.
Singh hails from a beautiful and peaceful village of Perseverance in Region Two. She was born on October 6, 1991, to parents Annasyira Boodhnaraine and Boodhnaraine/Joe. She is the last child of the three children.
She attended the Affiance Nursery School and then moved on to the Taymouth Manor Primary School. At the latter institution, she was able to sit the National Grade Six Assessment, which was back then called the “Common Entrance Exam”. Due to her stellar performance, she gained a spot at one of the best schools in the region and country; the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School (ARMS).
Singh graduated with nine subjects from the science stream in 2008 and thereafter, immediately began her journey to becoming an outstanding educator.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Singh explained that she had ideally preferred to further her studies at the University of Guyana upon completing her secondary education. But this dream was just was not possible since her family could not afford it at that time. Her father was a sales clerk at Imam Bacchus and Sons Ltd, and her mother was a home administrator – and together, their income was not enough to help their ambitious daughter pursue her desires.
This, therefore, meant that Singh had to find the finances on her own to advance herself academically.
“This was a bold step since I had to leave my parents to live in Georgetown to attend the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE). The pain of being away from my parents, studying, cooking, washing, and managing a home all by myself was rough but this taught me to be independent,” Singh related.
Upon completing three years of training at CPCE, Singh graduated as a trained Grade One Class One teacher, specialised in the area of mathematics and science. Then in 2011, Singh initiated her duties as a qualified teacher at the Anna Regina Multilateral Secondary School where she served for four successful years. And then, in 2015, she was transferred to the Abram Zuil Secondary School to further pursue her career.
“I was transferred to AZSS after I got married to my husband. Fortunately, my spouse is a teacher by profession at the said institution. When I married, he became my additional source of motivation in my endeavours and pursuits,” Singh explained.
At the prestigious Abram Zuil Secondary School, Singh is currently nurturing the minds of Grade 11 students who are about to write Integrated Science at the upcoming Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations.
“I love working with my students, especially those who are slow learners… it gives me the opportunity to show them that I am not a difficult person…we can take it a little piece at a time and little steps at the time. I always make sure that at the end they learn and understand.”
But her contributions to moulding the future are not only on the academic front. Teacher Singh is also instrumental in bringing life to the students’ Hindu society which she saw as a means of sharing God’s precious words and helping to develop her students into better individuals.
It was a challenging process but the rewards were everything for Singh, who feels accomplished as her students graduate with a good standing academically, and spiritually.
“I was able to bridge those two together and help my students to understand that if you work hard, God will help you and you can do as just as well as the students of the other top institution.”
“As a staunch Hindu, I believe in being humble to humanitarian, and the teaching arena supplies me with countless opportunities to associate with people of all walks of life. Every child may not be fortunate in every way but one must never give up on what they [want to achieve],” Singh expressed.
Meanwhile, Singh told the Sunday Times that it is very difficult at times to satisfy the needs of diverse learners with online teaching during the pandemic as well as being a housewife dealing with two “mischievous” kids.
However, Singh underscored the important role education plays in the key to success, noting that she is a living example of that philosophy.
Quoting the great Nelson Mandela, she outlined that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”.
In this regard, she is encouraging persons that it is never too late to learn as there is no limit to education. In fact, even with all her success, Singh is currently furthering her studies, as a scholarship student under the Government’s GOAL initiative. She is presently studying at the University of Southern Caribbean.
Prior to that, she had attained an online degree in Education Leadership at the University of Bedfordshire.
Asked why she continues to educate herself, Singh explained that enhancing her knowledge and skills will definitely increase her level of efficacy, boost her confidence, increase her passion for teaching and pave the way to becoming an exceptional and exemplary teacher who can meaningfully touch the lives of Guyana’s children and future leaders.
“I am a dynamic individual who will continue to persevere in the field of education and I challenge every reader of this article to do the same. I leave you with this thought, since its education month, ‘Education is the passport to the future, tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today’,” Singh expressed.