At 16 years old, Najeer Nish has earned himself seven CSEC (Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate) subjects with three straight-A profiles. He was only in the ninth grade at Munro College when he participated in the CSEC exams and achieved three grade ones for English Language (English A), Human and Social Biology (HSB), and Information Technology (IT).
Ascending to the tenth grade, he once again rose to the challenge of the exams, applying himself and scoring a pass in four subjects. This time around, Nish received three grade ones in Mathematics, Principles of Accounts (POA), Principles of Business (POB), and a grade two in Chemistry.
Fast forward to the eleventh grade, and the 16-year-old already has an arsenal of seven subjects under his belt. The Munro College student also just celebrated his birthday almost a week ago on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
Speaking to the Jamaica Observer during an interview last Friday, Nish stated, “I was flabbergasted by my results, which was reflective of my actual potential. It was the best feeling ever.” Continuing, he said that he was so happy with the grades that he received, that he was screaming and “running up and down in the house.” This was his reaction to passing his first attempt of the CSEC exams in grade nine.
Even though he had experienced the elation of passing the exams firsthand the year prior, Nish’s second reaction was pretty much the same.
He remarked that he was overjoyed to pass the four additional subjects, but the road to victory was not without its trials. “The year was extremely stressful as I had gone back to the regular school schedule, leaving home at 6:00 am for day school and getting home at 5:00 pm,” Nish voiced. He continued to explain that he had to attend evening classes and was not able to make it home until 8 PM or sometimes 9 PM. These classes were attended four times per week.
Any downtime was spent playing instruments like the drums and the piano or singing, solving puzzles, and playing chess.
Expounding on his time that was divided between extra lessons and his regular class sessions, Nish mentioned that he would become very tired after finding a precarious balance between the two and getting all the work done on time. This caused him to become extremely agitated and in turn, he leaned on procrastination for a reprieve, which then set him behind his peers. “I ended up having to work even longer hours to catch up with the rest of the class, and I was able to secure a grade two,” he declared.
In the midst of this, his parents were busy working, and he was tasked with taking care of his younger siblings in-between online classes.
Additionally, he was just proud and happy to be the only one in his family who achieved what he did and at only 15 years old. Nish stated that he was on a quest to “provide a decent life for my family in the future — especially my parents who have made so many sacrifices for my future. I am glad that their sacrifices actually count for something.”
Thinking it was a good idea, his parents enrolled him in an evening school programme at Genus’ Day (evening and Saturday classes) so that during the pandemic, with classes changing over to online studies, the extra four hours he had which would have usually been used to travel, would not be wasted.
Nish, who hails from Dry Harbour District, St. Elizabeth, wishes to become a future lawyer and in addition to his parents thinking that having CSEC experience would be advantageous, he said, “I thought my resume would be far more impressive to the universities to which I will apply, and would also increase my chances of getting a scholarship. I welcomed the challenge and agreed to do three.”
A native of St. John’s, Antigua, Nish was born overseas to two Jamaican parents before coming to live in Jamaica at a young age. He currently resides with his two younger siblings and both parents.
His educational life began at Roseville Play and Learn Early Childhood Institution and Preparatory School until grade three before he moved on to attend Black River Primary School by transferring because of his parent’s “harsh economic challenges”. He achieved the title of deputy head boy at Black River Primary.
He added that his father who is a technician and electrician, graduated high school with one CXC subject, and his mother, A life insurance agent, received only four. Nish said, “We lived in a small house and had a barely functioning car, but we were grateful and tried to work with what we had.”
Nish had also been a participating member of the Jamaica Cultural Development Commission (JCDC) since the year 2015. He achieved the prize of a bronze medal both in 2016 and 2017 for performing in the speech and dance competitions.
“The quest continued, and I was successful in the GSAT examinations which I sat in 2017,” said Nish. He announced that his performance in those exams is what propelled him into the “prestigious Munro College”. This trend of academic excellence was upheld and by his first two years at the institution, he was ranked first in his form class with top averages.
Nish declared how proud of his achievements his family is and spoke about being the pride of his family. “I have also set a standard for all the younger children in my family to strive towards, and that of surpassing, what I have done and putting our family name out there, and creating a better life for themselves and their families.”
He is currently a member of Munro College’s chess club and a student council representative, and he is also a part of the music club while being involved with the band and choir.
Nish has the intention to sit another eight subjects and pass them this year, “which should set me in a spot to secure a scholarship to a law school in Canada or the USA”.
Watch the video below: