Student scores highest in the country | 18-year-old score a whopping 394 out of 400

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Kia Pandya (middle) flanked by her parents Sapan Pandya (left) and Purnima Pandya after scoring the highest marks in the Fiji Year 12 Certificate Examination at Natabua High School, Lautoka. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Sacrifice has indeed paid off for Natabua High School Year 12 student, Kia Pandya, who achieved the highest mark in Fiji for the 2023 Fiji Year 12 Examination.

The 18-year-old of Vitogo Parade in Lautoka, scored an impressive 394 out of 400.

She excelled in various subjects, securing perfect score of 100 in both Math and Physics, 99 in Biology, 95 in English, and 93 in Chemistry.

Overwhelmed with emotion, Pandya expressed her surprise at the remarkable achievement.

“I did not expect this much, I was expecting my mark to be in 380s but when I saw that I had 394 I was very happy, extremely happy and overwhelmed.

“At that time, I wasn’t very sure if it’s the highest in Fiji until I got the message from our school principal today,” Pandya said.

One of the significant challenges she faced during her exam preparation was giving up social media.

“To achieve this mark, I had to spend a lot of time studying and I also had to let go of things that I liked doing, which was drawing and social media obviously.

“And spending time with friends and all those things, so I had to let go and I devoted more time studying and I tried to also include short breaks, so that I don’t get too stressed about it,” she added.

She was born in Vudodara, Gujarat in India and moved to Fiji with her family when she was six months old.

Pandya expressed her gratitude to her parents for their unwavering support.

“I would like to thank God for giving me a wonderful life and I thank my parents who were my first teachers they supported me and always encouraging me also my Primary School teachers at Drasa Primary School and all the teachers in Natabua High School for guiding me to achieve this mark,” she added.

Pandya’s aspirations extend beyond academic success and aims to pursue a career in Biochemical Engineering or Biomedical Engineering and looks forward to studying in Australia, as these courses are not available in Fiji.

She intends to apply for the Australian Award Scholarship to facilitate her educational journey. School principal Virendra Sharma confirms 200 students of Natabua High School sat for FSLC and recorded 85 per cent pass with the average mark of 267.

“This achievement is wonderful news to us.

We have now moved away from educating just the elite.

We take good care for our children,” Sharma said.

The school did not have any Saturday classes last year, but they just reminded the students to do their part.

“We did not have any Saturday class at all, we stress to the teachers to make effective use of every opportunity spent with the children and we talked with the children to do their part in achieving success,” Sharma added.

Natabua also recorded 91 per cent pass in Fiji Seventh Form Examination with the highest mark being 385.

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