Age is nothing but a number for Westville resident Kialan Pillay who has aced his matric with seven distinctions, despite being only 15 years old. Kialan, who started high school when he was 10, achieved distinctions for all seven subjects that he took.

He was home-schooled as a young child and described his early education as “non-structured and holistic” – it even included trips to Egypt, Greece and Italy with his mother to fuel his passion for Egyptology and archaeology.

He started Grade 1 at Kainon Primary in Westville. “It was fun because I got to socialise with other children but I was bored, intellectually,” he said.

A decision was taken to place Kialan in a higher grade and, at the age of eight, he started Grade 5. “Initially, it was a bit of an adjustment,” he said, “But I made good friends and we are still good friends, to this day.”

Kialan did his high school years at Eden College, where he says he had to overcome some challenges associated with being younger than his classmates. But, he added, having a good group of friends helped him through.

Throughout his time at Eden College, Kialan achieved an A aggregate and was placed among the top three in his grade every year.

He was also awarded academic full colours. Kialan was part of the school’s “Formula One” team and an accomplished pianist, achieving Grade 8 level.

He has participated in KZN Rising Stars music concerts as an invited artist and earned half colours for music and debating. During his matric year, Kialan was a prefect as well as vice-house captain and was named Dux.

Of his matric year, Kialan said he had thoroughly enjoyed it. He said he worked hard, but was sure not to overdo it. “I am lucky to have parents who don’t place unnecessary pressure on me,” he said.

He said what he would miss most about school were the seemingly insignificant things. “Like chilling with friends during break,” he said. Kialan is taking a gap year this year.

He will use this time to focus on lateral learning in the field of computer science. He hopes to pursue his passion with a career in computer engineering and has multiple IT endeavours in the pipeline, such as software development.

He also wants to travel and visit the esteemed higher education institutions of Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

SOURCE: IOL

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