The cream of the crop of the 2013 National and Regional examinations were recognised and rewarded for their sterling performance on Thursday at an award ceremony held at the National Cultural Centre.
This annual ceremony recognises the best performers at all tiers of the education system including National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), Guyana Technical Education Examination, Carnegie School of Home Economics and Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE). Recognised also are the most improved schools at all levels.
With the number of awards Guyana has received this year at the CSEC, Government has every right to feel proud of the students.
“We in government feel rewarded and vindicated by your success. The environment within which you have had to study has been an integral part of your success. Since we of the PPPC, have been in office, we have been deliberately committed to making the investment that brought about the successes which Guyana now enjoys,” Prime Minister Samuel Hinds said.
But even as Government can take some of the credit, he said that, “today when we are producing in real terms at level three or more times than which we did in 1992, and consequently have in real terms, three or more times as much to expend as we had in 1992, we are still producing at level of one-third of a number of our fellow sister Caricom countries, and one-tenth and one-fifteenth of what developed countries are producing and spending.”
Acknowledging that the education system still has a long way to go, the PM said that Government has no apology for the manner in which it has been allocating funds within the sector.
“There have been concerns that our programmes designed to spread what we have more evenly across our country might be achieving too thin a spread, but we would rather reach more of our people than fewer. We of the PPPC favour and advocate growth from the widest base possible,” the PM said.
What is given to children in terms of text books in Paramakatoi is also given to children in Christianburg as is given to children in Mahaicony, in Crabwood Creek…” the PM said.
The even-handed approach has been paying dividends as noticeable by the continued outstanding performance of the students at CSEC and CAPE.
This year, Guyanese students took five of the eight CSEC 2013 regional awards. “Your country salutes your achievement,” PM told the five students and other awardees, but he also pointed out that their glory and success would also not have come without the incomparable contributions of their parents and teachers.
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand also acknowledged this when she addressed the gathering, noting that the ministry is fully cognisant that a partnership effort has to be credited for the students’ success.
“These combinations of effort really allow us to bring out in our students the best they could be, and we celebrate here the many parents, the many teachers, the grandparents, the ordinary working people who would have put their best foot forward so we can celebrate… All of you who would have helped in any way, large or small I want to offer a sincere thank you,” she said.
Like the PM, the Education Minister also acknowledged that there is still more work to be done to achieve better strides in the education sector, but as well reinforced the ministry’s commitment to rising to this task.
“We want to assure Guyana that even as we celebrate here… we will not be compliant, we are going to ensure that we work even harder so we have more to celebrate because we see what potential we have, and we are going to stay committed and re-energise ourselves to make sure that we deliver the best education that is possible in this kind of Guyana,” she said.
She also took to task the Opposition for failing to, within the last eight days, acknowledge the achievements of the five students that were recognised for the CSEC regional awards.
“Other countries are celebrating us and blogging about us and writing editorials about us. It is absolutely shameful and disgraceful that not one single leader of the Opposition has yet found it appropriate to congratulate our children to celebrate the teachers that are often criticised, who have brought the children to this point, to say thank you to the hardworking parents they go to for votes every five years. Disgraceful, shameful, should never happen,” she said.
The national 2013 awardees are as follows; NGSA – Best Performers-Salma Majeed-ISA Islamic Academy, 548 marks; Christian Pile-Mae’s Under 12, 547 marks, Navindra Persaud-Mae’s Under 12- 545 marks.
In the CSEC category of Best Junior Secondary Performers the awardees are; Yogeeta Persaud-Anna Regina, Rafena Mustapha and armeshwarie Seodat of Saraswati Vidya Niketan, and Zimeena Rasheed-Anna Regina Secondary.
For the CSEC Best Senior Secondary School Performers, the awardees are; Cecil Cox, Phillipe Walker, Akeila Wiltshire and Akash Jairam, all of Queen’s College.
The Outstanding Performers, Carnegie School of Home Economics are; Luis Field-Garment Construction, Kimberly Baker-Commercial Food Preparation, Johnel Bourne-Catering and Hospitality, Carlyn Grahame and Alicia Mc Calman-General Cosmetology, and Kamalita Heeralall-Visual Arts (Craft Production and Design Division).
Outstanding Performers at the Government Technical Institute are; Advanced Craft, Javin Armstrong-Elementary Certificate in Telecommunication, Technician Certificate-Michael Hunte-Technician Certificate in Electrical Engineering Part II, Technician Diploma-Colin Quintyn-Technician Diploma in Building and Civil Engineering, Business Diploma-Sheneza Moore-Ordinary Diploma in Commerce and Science Diploma-David Duncan-Ordinary Diploma in Science.
For the Government Technical Education Examination, the awardees are; Basic Craft-Kemraj Ramcharran from the Essequibo Technical Institute-Basic Craft in Automotive Studies and from the New Amsterdam Technical institute, Craft Certificate-Tejpaul Thakoordine-Craft Certificate in Electrical Installation and Computer Science-Rashana Henry-Diploma in Computer Science.
Other awards presented included the CSEC Best Science Performer (Guyana)-Cecil Cox and CSEC Best Performer, (Guyana) Yogeeta Persaud, while the awards for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) Best Performers are; Shalita Appadu-President’s College, Anuradha Dev, Deowatie Narine, Prashat Shivdas, Keleshwar Singh, Benedict Sukra, and Melodie Lowe, all of Queen’s College.
The Best Performer for 2012 and 2013, CAPE was awarded to Jonelle James of Queen’s College and the Best Graduating Student-CPCE (2010-2013) went to Veronica Jeffrey-Turkeyen Centre (Early Childhood.)
Most Improved primary School was Cumberland while Most Improved Junior Secondary School was given to Tutorial High and Most Improved Senior Secondary School to St Joseph High.
The winners of the special awards for their outstanding CSEC performances 2013 were Yogeeta Persaud- Best Overall CSEC student, Cecil Cox-Overall Best CSEC Science Student, Sasha Woodroofe – Overall CSEC Best Business Education Student, Rafena Mustapha- Overall CSEC Best Humanities Student and Zimeena Rasheed-overall Best CSEC Technological/Vocational Education.
The CSEC and CAPE overall performers won scholarships at the behest of President Donald Ramotar to study at an educational institution of their choice. The beneficiaries are Yogeeta Persaud, Cecil Cox, Melodie Lowe and Jonelle James.