SHARJAH // For Laila Khanfar, attaining 99.8 per cent in her final year exams at school was not a surprise, but topping the results table for girls in the country got her jumping around her house.
The 17-year-old Jordanian of Palestinian origin said that her father received a text message on his mobile from the Ministry of Education with her result.
“Our family were celebrating the achievement – they were ecstatic with my grade. However, when I received the news that I took the number one spot in the girls’ category, I started jumping around the house in excitement,” said the UAE-born and raised teenager.
During the school year, she paced herself and devoted time to studying but also spent time with her family and friends.
“It was almost identical to previous school years. I studied an average four to five hours and I went out a lot with my friends and led a normal life,” said the pupil from Al Shola Private School in Sharjah. “However, when the exams were close, I concentrated and focused on studying, and didn’t waste time.
“My advice to other pupils is to study in a rational way – don’t overload yourselves and lock yourselves in your rooms and burn the midnight oil. Instead, focus for a few hours on your studies and take time to relax and get on with your life.”
After confirming her grades and her status as highest achiever, Laila was quickly on the phone to her friends.
“I called all my friends and all my teachers to inform them about my achievement. It was a great moment in my life and I wanted everyone to know.”
The next step for the promising pupil s university.
“I want to study mechanical engineering. I’m not interested in studying medicine and becoming a doctor. I want to complete my BA, then consider masters and a PhD,” family’s eldest daughter said.
Aside from being an A pupil throughout school, Laila enjoys reading, art and drawing.
Her father, Amjad Khanfar, 50, said Laila’s result was his proudest moment.
“She definitely worked hard to achieve this, and I could not be prouder,” the father of six said.
Laila’s English teacher, Dalia Al Masry, 40, said her high attainment was not a surprise.
“She is the kind of person that you know will accomplish a lot in her life,” Ms Al Masry said.
“I taught her English for the past two years and she was the perfect student – always prepared, always helpful to her classmates.
“Honestly, we have grown close. She has been active in all school activities, and outdone many of her peers, which is testament to her strong and eloquent personality.”