A Trelawny child who is leading them

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AT nine years old, most Jamaican children would be getting ready to enter grade three or four at the primary level come September, but Andwele Haye, who only turned 10 in July, is getting ready for high school.

This short and articulate individual was placed at the Herbert Morrison Technical High School after acing the 2020 sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) examinations at age nine.

Andwele received the third-highest score out of 135 students, most of whom were three years his senior, at the Hague Primary and Infant School in Trelawny.

However, his success came as no surprise to those who know the star student, including his parents, Trudy and Noris Haye.

Noris said they realised that Andwele was gifted before he reached two years old. His mother affirmed that sentiment.

“At two years old, he was reading fluently. When he went to pre-school at T’s Tiny Tots Nursery, he did not stay in the beginners’ class and only spent one year at the nursery, because of how advanced he was,” she said.

After enrolling at a new school, Andwele was promoted to a higher grade, and at age three, he was placed in the outgoing students’ class at the infant department at Hague Primary and Infant School. However, he wasn’t allowed to leave with the graduating cohort, because he was too young.

Still only three, Andwele competed against grade six students in the school’s annual reading competition and won.

“When he started primary school, he was four years old. Because of his exceptional performance, he spent only one month in grade one and was promoted to grade two,” his mother explained.

Andwele’s exceptional abilities began to garner attention in and around the school community.

“Persons were telling us to go get him assessed, but we didn’t. We wanted to let him grow naturally with his peers, and we didn’t want to overwhelm him,” Trudy explained.

However, before Andwele was allowed to sit this year’s PEP exams, the Ministry of Education required that he did an assessment to demonstrate that he was capable of sitting the exams.

The assessment revealed what was clear to everyone else who knew him – that he was indeed a gifted child.

Andwele maintained an average of more than 90 per cent from grade two to six.

“Andwele surprises me so many times with his reading. He will read like two Hardy Boys books per day,” his mother said in amazement. “When he reads the books, he imagines himself as the characters and his favourite character at the moment is Percy Jackson.”

His father also described him as a voracious reader with constantly changing interests.

Furthermore, it’s no surprise then that Andwele’s favourite subject is language arts although his career ambitions lean to a more technical path. He wants to become a project manager, similar to his father.

“I want to thank mommy and daddy, because they have been helping me to prepare for PEP from grade four,” he said.

His parents further asserted that they aim to challenge Andwele as much as possible to keep him on top of his academic game.

“We find that if we don’t challenge him, he gets bored. We challenge him with additional work, especially on the weekends. Even now, we are giving him CXC level basic maths, which he is doing well at. We are also slowly introducing him to new topics and subjects that are taught in high school, so when he gets to high school, it is not as difficult for him,” his father said.

Dameian Elvin, principal of Hague Primary and Infant School, described Andwele as “a very interesting student”.

“He is a gifted child, and there is nothing he shies away from because he has parents who empower him,” Elvin said.

Andwele, whose name means “God brings me”, was deputy head boy in grade five and a prefect in grade six. He has represented Hague Primary and Infant School in 4H Club, is the Kiwanis Kid for the school and enjoys playing football and the digital game, Minecraft. He is also a member of the Falmouth New Testament Church and his parents reinforce the notion that God will take him through any challenge he faces.

Moreover, Andwele’s father revealed that his eldest child’s interests run deeper than the literary arts. Andwele also developed an interest in playing the keyboard and even once performed at a school-leaving exercise.

In addition, Hague Primary has been investing in co-curricular activities to ensure students are well-rounded and recently received a donation of a variety of instruments from JN Bank earlier this year to bolster the school’s music room.

“Our students are diverse and excel in different areas. For those who do not perform well academically, we harness their skills through co-curricular activities such as music,” said Elvin.

While Andwele did not get a chance to utilise the music room this year, because he was busy studying for PEP, he enjoyed playing the piano at school.

Meanwhile, Nina Peters, business relationship and sales manager, JN Bank, who was the guest speaker at Andwele’s graduation said, “I have no doubt, Andwele’s star will shine even brighter.”

Peters said the 10-year-old made an impression on her as he told her ‘thank you’ on behalf of his graduating class at Hague recently.

“After listening to his presentation, I was blown away by how articulate he was and his overall performance at the school,” she said.

Overall his parents are grateful to the teachers and principal of Hague Primary and Infant School, who, they said, did their best with the resources they had, to keep Andwele engaged and challenged.

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