Yesterday, the story of Mia Golosino, an 11-year-old girl with an IQ of 162 captured the attention of Filipinos because a British school allegedly rejected her application despite passing it with flying colors.
The report, which appeared on GMA News, prompted outcries from people who felt racial discrimination was the reason behind her non-acceptance. As you scroll through the 1000+ comments on Facebook, you'll see, however, that her father, Jose, an IT manager who moved his family to Milton Keynes in the United Kingdom 10 years ago, commented on the report to shed light on what happened.
Jose clarified the reasons why Aylesbury High grammar school, his daughter's first choice of school, denied his daughter's application. It was all about the family home's location and the number of students the school can only accept. In fact, his daughter did make it to the school's waiting list, where she was number 10.
In his Facebook comment, he explained, "May criteria silang tinatawag na catchment, out of catchment. Noong mga nakaraang taon, pasok ang address ng pamilya namin sa mga estudyante na kanilang tinanggap pero sa taon na ito nagkataon na mas maraming bata na mas malapit sa eskwelahan ang nag-apply sa gustong school ni Mia kaya hindi siya nakasama sa 180 na bata na tinaggap. Iyon ang tinatawag na oversubscription. Pang-sampu si Mia sa waiting list sa unang round ng allocation."
According to news website Milton Keynes Citizen, the school was Mia's first choice, and Jose and his wife, Mary, were keen to get her into the school because they felt it was a good match for their daughter's potential. So Jose decided to have her daughter take a Mensa test, where we now know she scored a 162, the highest score possible to achieve from Mensa. People kept dropping the names of famous scientists like Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking because they are said to have achieved a score of 160.
The report continued that the Mensa score was supposed to be part of the appeal the Golosino family wanted to make to Aylesbury High for their daughter. But, in his Facebook comment, Jose stressed that they would have respected whatever decision the school made. (We sent Mr. Golosino a Facebook message but, he did not reply)
"Sa pamamagitan ng appeal, maaaring matanggap si Mia o hindi. Ang mga eskwelahan ay hindi pwede mag-desisyon kung tatanggapin nila o hindi ang bata. May independent panel na tinatawag at sila ang titingin kung ano ang mas makakabuti sa panig ng bata at eskwelahan na oversubscribed."
The family, however, did not pursue the appeal anymore. Milton Keynes Citizen reported that Mia was already accepted in another school, Royal Latin grammar school in Buckingham, before they even knew about Mia's test score in Mensa, a bonus for the Golosino family. Jose said, "Sa huli, nagkaroon siya ng magandang eskwelahan at nalaman pa namin ang tunay na potential na mayroon siya. Kung natanggap siya sa unang choice namin, hindi namin pakukuhanin ng IQ test si Mia."
What Mia's father does hope is their experience gives hope to parents living in the UK. "Gusto lang sana namin bigyan ng pag-asa ang mga pamilya dito sa UK na hindi rin nabigyan ng eskwela na gusto nilang pasukan. Na hindi lahat natatapos sa hindi makukuha ang talagang ginusto. Dahil sa huli mas maganda pa ang maaaring maibigay sa atin."