A teenager who is taking 28 A-levels and has the same IQ as Albert Einstein says gifted pupils in state schools need more support.
Mahnoor Cheema, who took 33 GCSEs, moved from Pakistan to the UK when she was nine and said that for several years the schools she attended didn’t know what to do with her potential.
Instead they would give her extra maths to do, which she didn’t find any more challenging.
The now 17-year-old, who lives in Slough, also said that when she moved to a secondary grammar school, teachers tried to discourage her from sitting so many GCSEs.
They apparently told Mahnoor she was overburdened and had ‘dark circles’ under her eyes.
She said when her parents got involved to support their daughter they were labelled as ‘pushy’.
Mahnoor said she’s spoken to other high-achieving students who attend state schools and have had similar experiences.
‘I feel we are wasting so much talent in the UK,’ she told The Times.
‘I think there are so many kids who had talent to do so much but it was wasted because no one recognised their potential or knew what to do with it.’
Mahnoor, who has an IQ of 161 around the same as both Einstein and Stephen Hawking, said maths at British schools was particularly ‘slow’.
She said children in year three in Pakistan could complete tests given to 11-year-olds in Britain.
The bright student said she’d found it hard to make friends at school as she struggled to relate to others.
When her peers would be reading Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Mahnoor would be buried in books by philosophers such as Plato and Socrates.
She got 33 grade nines in her GCSEs, the highest a pupil can score.
Mahnoor isn’t the only bright one in the family as her father is a leading barrister, her mum has two degrees in economics, her 14-year-old sister is a national maths champion also with an IQ of 161 and her brother, nine, is a grade four piano player.
The A-level student is now settled and happy at a new school, Henrietta Barnett School, a north London grammar that lies 90 minutes from her home.
She has joined a swimming team, rides horses and enjoys going to concerts with friends.
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