Michelle Kinner is a 16-year-old girl doing her A-levels but inwardly rebelling to be released from a life of constant study at such a young age.
A student of Livingstone Kolobeng English Medium, Michelle completed her International General Certificate in Secondary Education (IGCSE) last year at the age of 15.
“It should not be about books, books all the time,” she complains during an interview with The Telegraph in the presence of her mother, Gloria Kinner.
She said she had read scientifically-proven information on the internet that constant reading is unhealthy.
While confirming the pressure that she has put Michelle under, Gloria Kinner says it is her responsibility as a mother to teach her daughter at an early stage how to balance school work and household chores.
She says she wants Michelle to understand the important things in her life, which include deciding the right study schedules, the right university to go through, the right time to start dating and the right places to go to.
Two years ago, the Sunday Standard interviewed the Kinner family after Michelle’s out-of-the-ordinary experience of skipping two grades and writing her Form 3 exams at the age of 13 while she was still in Form 1. She managed a grade B, with the help of an intensive study course monitored by her mother.
Recalling the reasons for pushing her daughter two grades up, Kinner says she noticed Michelle’s superior intelligence in the early stages of Form 1 when she would compete with her older cousins on tests and score excellent marks just by recalling information she had learnt in Standard 4.
This prompted the mother to fast-track Michelle into writing the Junior Certificate exams.┬á
While admitting the pressure of effort and hard work Michelle has to endure, Kinner says that she is determined to help her through every step and said she had faith her daughter would perform well.
Speaking in an interview this week, Michelle revealed her struggle through the first two terms of high school, the result of learning she had missed in junior high when she skipped two grades.
Nevertheless, she caught up in the third term, and her grades improved, her mother supervising her study schedule by shifting Michelle’s study desk into her room.
“Also, every Friday I went to the school to ask for extra assignments from Michelle’s teachers,” said Gloria Kinner.
Michelle is now 16, half-way through her A-levels, and has managed 45 points in the IGCSE exams. She hopes this will be enough to put her through pre-med.
Mother and daughter openly differed on the choice of tertiary institution, the mother insisting on the University of Botswana (UB) while Michelle prefers going abroad.
Gloria Kinner says if her daughter makes it to the UB, she will stop her A-levels and adds that she cannot afford to send Michelle to study abroad.
During the interview, Michelle speaks reluctantly, and complains that she wants to be allowed to relax more and do more of the normal things that 16-year-olds do.