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Chequana wheels into Girls’ High School

Chequana wheels into Girls’ High School


She always wanted to go to Girls’ High School and Monday Chequana got her wish as she wheeled herself into Form One G Velox.

The wheelchair-bound 11-year-old Chequana Gilkes is not daunted by her handicap. To her, she is not disabled but differently-abled and she is determined to achieve her aspiration to become a pediatrician.{{more}}

“I want to reach all my goals and try to work as hard as possible,” the former Dorsetshire Hill Primary School said.

That is not difficult to believe for those who know her. At Dorsetshire Hill she was the top student in the Common Entrance Examination; she placed 56th for Girls and 106th overall among the 2,678 students sitting the exam. Her grades were 85 per cent for English, 76.77 per cent for General Paper and 70 per cent in Mathematics.

The articulate Chequana had a smooth transition this past week, said Form Teacher Michelle Beache, with classmates making an extra effort to help.

Chequana is the third wheelchair-bound student to attend secondary school and the Society for Persons with Disabilities is happy with the development but they do have some concerns about total access to the school.

There are issues of access to the library and the Information Technology Centre. Public Relations Officer Melanie McKenzie urged the school to work towards making the entire property wheelchair accessible.

Within the wider society, McKenzie said that ramps are but the start towards a fully accessible St Vincent for the disabled. They also need to have washrooms and other basic facilities to accommodate the disabled.

Accessibility was the major problem why wheelchair-bound Shernelle Edwards is unable to find a suitable job. She graduated from the Georgetown Secondary School with five subjects but is unable to have a regular job because there are not enough buildings with wheel chair access where she can work.

Minister with responsibility for persons with disability, Mike Browne, wants to see ramps at all schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines. He was speaking at the Dorsetshire Hill Government School at the start of the new academic year.