Port of Spain: An India-born girl, Anusha Saha, has topped Trinidad and Tobago's Secondary Entrance Examination.
Anusha was congratulated by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, a person of Indian origin, and Minister of Education Tim Goopeesingh, both of whom visited her Grant Memorial Primary Presbyterian School in this country's second city, San Fernando, on Wednesday.
Just over 18,300 students wrote the annual exams to gain entry to the secondary school system which is universally free -- like kindergarten, primary and tertiary education here.
Anusha was born in India and came here as a baby with her parents Jayanta Saha, an engineer, and his wife Kuntala Saha from Delhi. They have been living here for 15 years.
The parents said they were extremely happy about their only child's success.
Addressing her classmates, Anusha said she too was overjoyed. "I know I would not able to do this without all my teachers, my parents, especially my mom."
About her future plans, Anusha said she wanted to be a brain surgeon.
"I like to do stuff like doctors, and I am interested in doctors and science and I want to work with them," she said.
Anusha will attend one of the country's most prestigious secondary schools for girls, the Naparima Girls' High School.
This school continues to be a high-profile one in the Caribbean Council Examination (CXC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), both equivalent to the British General Certificate in Education and the Advanced Level exams.
Anusha's principal Gillian Mahabir said she was proud of the school's achievements.
"We believe in holistic development, we put God first, then we have dedicated teachers and everybody works hard. Anusha got the best all-round girl's prize because she not only excelled in academics, but also in chess, in music, in spelling," Mahabir said.
Anusha, it is reported, scored 243 points out of a total of 245. Her parents plan to take her to the US this summer.
She has become the talk of the country among educators, teachers, academics and politicians, especially since the country votes for a new government on September 7.
(Paras Ramoutar can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)