June 12, 2024



Linden’s mother of seven endured many struggles to see her children through school

Despite not getting the education she desired, Linden mother of seven Rayann Jacobis endured many struggles to ensure that all of her seven children attended top high schools in Guyana. Earlier this month, Rayann proudly received the news that her smallest child Zylinna Jacobis copped a place at Queen’s College at the National Grade Six Assessment. She also secured a place in Region Ten’s top 10 performers. Five years ago, Rayann also celebrated another daughter Zaria Jacobis who also copped a place at Queen’s College. Her five children before that also secured places at top schools in Guyana.

Many would believe that such an exceptional consecutive achievement would only be possible as a result of children being raised in a stable home setting with all the material things provided for them. For the Jacob’s family, this was far from the case. Rayann herself only attended a community high school and while she did make efforts to further her studies after, her family’s financial challenges, did not permit her. She however knew from the onset she wanted better for her children’s academic future.

This meant she had to ‘hustle’ to make ends meet. “I use to work in Bourda Market before coming up here (Linden) and I would do anything to ensure my children get an education. I would do all odd jobs for my children, wash clothes, press, sell, I was determined for them to get the best,” the proud mother said. Her husband also provided and played a pivotal role in the family’s life but providing for seven children was no easy task. “For me, I never went to no high school, I went to a community high school and I wanted better for my children, I wanted them to go to the best schools and I worked hard to support them,” she said.

Speaking of her daughter, Zylinna’s success, she said she is happy she followed in the footsteps of her older siblings. The process was challenging for her and consisted of many long school days, late nights and early mornings. Her older siblings also ensured Zylinna matched their success by supporting and tutoring her.

Now that Zylinna is preparing to attend Queen’s College, her mother’s worry is that she is indeed able to do so. Since the family resides in Linden, taking a bus to Georgetown daily is costly, more so that two children will be attending school in Georgetown. For her son, a decision had to be made to transfer him from St. Stanislaus College to Mackenzie High School because of not being able to afford the cost attached to travelling from Linden to Georgetown daily.

Zaria was only able to do attend Queen’s College through sponsorship. She sadly reminisced on having to quit her studies and enter the world of work to support her other sibling’s education but, Rayann is determined to not have to choose between the two siblings as her only daughter who sat Caribbean Secondary Examination Council this year is desirous of pursuing law at The Bishop’s High at Six Form. Sending both children to school in Georgetown will be challenging. “I don’t want to choose between who can go and who can stay…I don’t want what happened to me to happen to my children as well,” she explained.

With faith however Rayann, who works as a saleswoman at a vegetable store, hopes that Zylinna will be able to attend the school of her dreams since she worked very hard to achieve it.

CREDIT: This story was first published in the Kaieteur News