Guyana copped nine awards for its exceptional academic achievements at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
Other countries including Trinidad and Tobago, St Maarten, and Jamaica, among others also received awards for their performances.
Alex Muntaz of Anna Regina Secondary School, who topped the entire Caribbean at this year’s CSEC examination, received awards for the Most Outstanding CSEC Candidate Overall and the Most Outstanding Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) student for the region.
Siddiq Gafar of the ISA Islamic School nabbed the accolade for most outstanding student in Business at the CSEC.
Abigail Stephanas who copped the award for most outstanding Science student, while Nailah Rahaman, was the most outstanding student in Humanities. Both students attended Queen’s College.
Naresh Jagnanan of Queen’s College, who is this year’s top Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) student, nabbed the most outstanding award in Business Studies and the Most Outstanding CAPE candidate overall.
Anna Regina Secondary School earned the award for CXC School of the Year, while Queen’s College received the CAPE Top School Award.
Matthew Dunn of Jamaica York Castle High School was presented with the University of Guyana’s Menezes-Rodney Award for the Most Outstanding Student in CSEC History.
The awards ceremony was hosted at the National Cultural Centre, on Thursday.
Prime Minister, Brigadier (Ret’d), Mark Phillips underscored that despite the region’s smallness and economic limitations, the success of the awardees serves as a reminder of the immense potential within the Caribbean.
He posited that the region has historically and consistently invested in harnessing its human resources, by producing exceptional scholars, who have brought glory to the Caribbean, as the awardees have all exemplified that tradition.
“Let us take pride in our top performers and express our gratitude in tangible ways to those who push their limits. To sustain our success, we must exercise prudent stewardship of our educational institutions, nurturing the talents and abilities of our people as a united region. One such institution which we must seriously save era is the Caribbean examinations console,” Prime Minister Phillips emphasised.
He explained that the success of CXC stands as a compelling narrative of regional achievement since its evolution and serves as indisputable proof of our capacity to establish institutions that cater to the unique needs of the Caribbean.
The Prime Minister noted that Guyana is delighted and honoured to host CXC’s annual governance meetings and awards ceremony.
Before this, Guyana had hosted the event in 2012.
Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand underscored that Thursday’s ceremony is not just about recognising academic excellence, it is about celebrating the power of knowledge, the pursuit of wisdom, and the transformative impact of education.
“The awards we present are not just accolades, they are symbols of the potential that resides within each student and the promise of a brighter future for each…Today, we honour the brilliance, dedication, and perseverance to propel the students to the pinnacle of academic excellence,” she explained.
Minister Manickchand stressed that the students are not merely recipients of awards, but the embodiment of inspiration for their peers, educators and Guyana.
“We acknowledge the sacrifices made, the challenges overcome, and the unwavering commitment to learning for these exceptional students demonstrating to our esteemed students…Your achievements extend far beyond the walls of the classroom,” she expressed.
The Education Minister also acknowledged the pivotal role of dedicated educators, supportive families and the entire academic community, since their guidance, encouragement and unwavering support have been instrumental in shaping the academic landscape that has allowed the students to flourish.
Chairman of CXC, Professor Sir Hillary Beckles and Registrar and CEO of CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley also delivered brief remarks and congratulated the students for their exceptional achievements.
CXC is also celebrating 50 years of service to the people of the Caribbean.
Chief Education Officer, Saddam Hussain, DCEO for Amerindian and Hinterland Education Development, Marti DeSouza, Vice Chancellor of the University of Guyana, Professor Paloma Mohamed-Martin, other senior officials of the ministry and CXC were also in attendance.