President Anthony Carmona and his wife Reema yesterday joined their daughter Anura in celebrating her success at attaining her first choice of St Joseph’s Convent, Port of Spain, in the Secondary Entrance Assessment (SEA) examination.
The Carmonas were among scores of parents, pupils and well-wishers who gathered for the SEA results at St Monica’s Preparatory School, Dundonald Street, Port of Spain.
Approximately 18,239 children sat the exams.
Amid hugs, kisses and congratulations, both parents said it was “very emotional” and Carmona even wiped away a tear.
Carmona praised his wife for the “excellent work” she had done in preparing both their children, Christian and Anura, for their respective SEA examinations.
Asked to share his sentiments on Anura’s success, President Carmona said: “I am very much elated. She passed for her first choice. The students were outstanding. I am giving all the credit to my wife (Reema) who sacrificed her personal career as an economist to be there for Anura and our son (Christian). She has done an excellent job in preparing both Christian, and, now Anura for the exam. She ensured they did their homework on time and metaphorically ‘cracking the whip’ when there was a need for it.”
Carmona added: “Anura’s mom has played a defining role in her education, and Christian, too. I support her unreservedly in that manner. And, we work as a team. We have always done so.”
Zeroing on St Monica’s role, Carmona said: “It brings an end to our children’s education here. But it does not end our relationship with the school.”
Earlier on, the Carmonas had congratulated principal Ann Marie Clarke and her team for their dedication. Clarke also wiped away tears.
Asked how they were celebrating Anura’s success, Carmona said: “The option is hers. She has asked her friends to come over and spend some time with her. All her friends passed for the same school (St Joseph’s Convent). Today, we might have them. We feel the proud parents would want to have the opportunity to celebrate with their children.”
Asked what advice he would impart to the nation’s children and youth, Carmona said: “Basically ensure whatever you do work hard and make your parents proud. Work hard in order to be truly successful and contribute to a generation of future leaders.”
Sharing her sentiments, Reema said: “I want to congratulate all those who wrote SEA. I want to say thanks to the principal (Clarke) and teachers who have worked with them. I had Christian before. They put their heart into it.”
The President’s daughter, Anura Carmona, an aspiring paediatrician, proudly displayed her SEA examination slip, her autographed school shirt and posed for selfies with her happy friends.