‘Nothing is impossible if one is consistent’: HSLC topper

(From L-R) Confidence and humility personified:  HSLC topper, 2011 Yimkum I. Ozukum at his parental residence on April 30. Jenikali Phucho who is ranked at number 7 in the HSLC exams with her parents at their residence in Kohima. Visede Puse ranked at number 8 in the HSLC exams along with his parents at their residence in Kohima.(Morung Photos)
Dimapur | April 30 : For the third year in a row lesser known schools have made it to the top of the annual HSCL results published by the Nagaland Board of School Education. The years 2009 and 2010 was when two small, yet up and coming schools from Kohima – Fernwood School and Stella Higher Secondary School - made it to the pinnacle of HSLC glory. This year, it was the turn of yet another so called small school to make it to the top, in the form of St. Mary’s Higher Secondary School, Dimapur.
It may come as a disappointment to the more reputed big schools. On the other hand, it is healthy to note that the spirit of competition is running rife among the privately run schools in the state, all for the good of elementary education in Nagaland. 
Lesser known schools make it to the top three years in a row
For the time being though, let’s leave aside the debate of the performance of schools. Meet Yimkum I. Ozukum, this year’s HSLC topper with an overall performance percentage of 94.83 percent.
The eldest of two brothers, the sixteen-year old is unlike the stereotyped image of a shy teenager. When this reporter, visited him at his parental residence at Padumpukhri today, Yimkum was all of confidence and humility combined with an impeccable command over the English language. His parents are Imtilepzuk Ozukum and Merainla from Sungratsu village under Mokokchung district.
Young and ambitious with a covetous academic score to boot, Yimkum said with self-assurance that he wants to become a software engineer. He was asked on his prospects for the future. He is yet to decide where to opt for a college, as a stepping stone towards his software engineering objective. Why software engineering he was asked, he replied: “I discovered my interest in computers when I was class-7, then on I’ve wanted to become a software engineer.”
Underlining his determination and commitment towards his choice of vocation, he asserted that he would commit himself to his work wherever he may get a job and hopes the expertise he would receive during his study would be of help to people.
“Nothing is impossible if one is consistent… and above all when one has faith in God and is virtuous”, he said of the secret behind his success. Crediting hardwork, the support of his parents and above all God, he added that it was a collective effort of the three. Stressing on consistency, particularly for a student like him, four to five hours of study everyday was enough, he said. “If you do that you don’t have to struggle in the last minute.”
“Since childhood my parents instilled in me and my brother the spirit to realize ‘what’s good for oneself’. We realized that and it was big lesson from our parents.”  “We didn’t necessarily have to be forced by someone to study”, he added.
“You shouldn’t expect success overnight, start from scratch, believe in God and be obedient”, was his message to fellow students.
On his school, he said it was like a family conducive to educational learning, particularly the teachers who were guides as well as friends to him. His reverence towards his teachers was let known when he confided that the school’s computer instructor, one ‘Sir Aping’ was the first to call him up while congratulating him after the results went online at midnight. The school’s principal also called him up. He quoted the principal, sister Daisy: “She told me ‘not to be overconfident in the success. If you’re humble enough then you’ll certainly get better results in future’.”
Asked his view on the tradition of HSLC toppers only opting for the science stream, he convincingly remarked: “Depends on your interests… it doesn’t only have to be Science or Arts. Just follow your interest.”
Despite, he confided that he was not expecting the number one position rather somewhere in the top-50. For the record, this is the highest percentage point obtained by a HSLC topper in the past five years. According to the results archives of the NBSE, the highest percentage mark recorded during the five year period was in 2006 by Urmila Dey of Chandmari Higher Secondary School, Kohima, who scored 92.83 percent.
Lights for Mezhur Higher Secondary School
Our Correspondent
Kohima | April 30

Keeping its good academic records intact, Mezhür Higher Secondary School has once again swept eight ranks in top-50 these recently declared HSLC examinations.
Over the years, 110 students are in the record since the inception of the institution in 1975.
Overwhelmed by the result, Managing Director of the institution Atuo Mezhür appreciated the achievement of his students and expressed gratitude to God for the remarkable results. He highly acknowledged the efforts of the teachers and the support of the parents.
 “There is no substitution for hard work, if not hard work, there is no gain”, the Managing director stated.
The case of HSLC Top-7 ranker, Jenikali Phucho, appears a little different from others, as her expectation was higher than what she believed to be in better position. Speaking to The Morung Express at her residence at Kohima, her doubts remained in science paper. “It might be science that I scored less,” she said. The efforts of this 16 years old girl who spent her time on books for 10-12 hours on holidays and 6-7 hours during school days, is evident for her disappointment. Despite that, Jenikali extended her gratitude to her teachers, parents, friends and well-wishers for her achievement.
“Better late than never”, was what she stated and thanked God for the blessing and her father, Kevishe Phucho whom she called her source of inspiration, hope and instilled in the children the truth that only hard work can bring about success. Second child of four siblings, singing-fan Jenikali desires to pursue a career in Medicine. She is also believed to be the first girl from Lazami village standing in Top-10 list. Jenikali maintained if it’s not because of the efforts of the teachers “we won’t be this far; they mould us with vision”.
Jenikali’s proud father said parents can play a huge role in the lives of their children and that parents need to know what their children do and should be co-operative with the school authorities.
Likewise, Visede Puse of Mezhür Higher Secondary School, who ranked Top-8, expressed indebtedness to his teachers and parents for his achievement. Visede said to have studied regularly for 6-7 hours. He enjoys music when not studying.
Visede’s parents Dr. Puse and Meseno of Khonoma village, while acknowledging the effort of the school authority for his son’s achievement, said children cultivating the habit of studying means that parents do not need to keep a strict vigil on their children.
Visede has a dream to follow in his father’s footprint in the field of medicine.