Bright future awaits 14-year-old matric pupil

2017-04-28 16:18
Sarthak Kokane (14) at Raisethorpe Secondary School.

Sarthak Kokane (14) at Raisethorpe Secondary School. (Ian Carbutt)

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It is unusual for a 14-year-old to be in a matric class but local lad Sarthak Kokane has defied the norm.

For the Raisethorpe Secondary School science class pupil who aspires to become a scientist, age is just a number.

The teenager came under the spotlight recently when he and a schoolmate, Yeshan Naidoo (16), were chosen to represent South Africa at two international olympiads for chemistry and biology abroad.

Sarthak’s journey began after his parents decided to relocate to South Africa to start a new life. Both are nurses at a local private hospital.

Sarthak had already started his schooling in India, where he completed standard three.

But because of the differences between the Indian and South African school curriculum Sarthak advanced to grade six when he arrived in the country.

In India, pupils begin their formal education at the age of three while in South Africa they start from the age of seven.

“I started Grade 1 at the age of three and coming to South Africa I was put into Grade 6.

“I managed very well with school but only struggled with Afrikaans.

“Initially it was very strange to be around older people in class but now I have been around them for six years, even my maturity has levelled up to them.

“Those who don’t know me can’t tell that I’m 14,” said Sarthak.

He said for him life goes on like for any other teenager.

But his focus now is on completing his matric with flying colours.

“Now I spend less time playing and more on studying. I have a deep interest in science, so after my matric, I am planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree in physics.

“At the age of 22, I want to have completed a doctorate in theoretical physics,” he said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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