Boys have always dominated the top spot at the Primary School Leaving Examinations but this was not the case at the 2017 whose result was released on Friday.
Hadija Aziz Ali, 13, from Sir John primary School in Tanga beat all odds to take the top spot, though she seemed surprised at her own success too after the results were announced.
“I believed I could pass, but I didn’t expect I could get the highest marks in the country. I thank God for this, my parents, teachers and my fellow pupils for cooperation,” she said in interview on Saturday.
She was among the 41 pupils, who sat for the primary leaving exams this year, with her school becoming 4th at national level and top in Tanga Region.
Soft-spoken Hadija said she entered the exam room to fulfill her long time dream of passing her exams and later becoming a paediatrician later in her career.
She was speaking at her family house along Donge Street, Tanga Region. She said the secret behind her success was cooperation she got from her fellow pupils, teachers and parents, who were encouraging.
“I am very thankful to my fellow pupils, particularly Florence Julius, Saada Ahmed and Lina John. I will never forget how they used to encourage me to work harder,” said Hadija.
Her mother Ms Jane Kihiyo (48), could hardly contain her tears as she spoke of the results. She didn’t believe her daughter would be the best pupil in the whole country.
But she said her daughter was confident she would pass her exams. “My daughter refused to go for interviews that would see her go to a private secondary school. We have been struggling to find for her good schools, but she didn’t give it attention,” said Jane Kuhiyo, who is a nurse at Besha Health Centre in Tanga.
Hadija is the fourth born child in her family, her eldest sister is a specialist medical doctor in Kilombero District. Another sister is Salma Aziz, a graduate of St Joseph Journalism College. She also has a brother, Ali Aziz, a Form Six student at Musoma Secondary School.
Speaking about the result the school owner and managing director Ms Orida Yona, said she was very happy, but was not surprised at the results because she expected the outcome since preparations were very thorough for all pupils.
“This year’s competition was very high for Standard Seven pupils because almost all of them were doing well,” she said, proudly.
Other top 10 pupils speak out too
Mbaraka Faraj from Feza Primary School, who was among the top 10 best pupils, said the secret behind his success included studying hard and group discussions with other pupils.
“I was not surprised at all because my performance was good since I was in Standard One, but also I normally set my time table for studying and doing extracurricular activities,” he noted. His ambition is to become a businessman like his father.
Mbaraka’s father, Mr Faraj Mbaraka, said he was very happy. “This is good news to the whole family. I was not aware of the results since I received a call from Feza Primary School asking me to go to the school,” he said.
Mr Mbaraka’s farther said the family expected such a kind of results because his son was doing well in studies since Standard One.