EYEWITNESS: Big scores… at CSEC and CAPE

The content originally appeared on: INews Guyana

It’s that time of the year again. We got our initial national “rush” when the NGSA marks came out, and now we move up the rankings into CSEC and CAPE. We haven’t gotten to the point of celebrating the rankings from the University of Guyana graduations – but that’s another story, isn’t it!?

It might be more about the university that the students, since one would think it’s the same cohort of students moving up the ladder.

Do most folks know that the majority of lecturers at UG just have a BA or BSc degree? How are they going to inspire their wards to “look beyond the horizon” when THEIR horizons are restricted by their meagre training? If you haven’t been on a hill, much less a mountaintop, what’s there to see and pass on?

Anyhow, back to the CSEC and CAPE grade. If you look at the pics and headlines in the press, you’d think that there’s only one school doing well in Guyana – Queen’s. And that’s a shame, because, from one perspective, since Queen’s gets the cream of the crop from the NGSA and the cream of the funding from the Ministry of Ed, the students are EXPECTED TO DO WELL!! It’s those that don’t that then feel a sense of shame.

But when your Eyewitness read the reports, he realised that it wasn’t all about Queen’s!! For example, in the top 10 at CSEC, SVN, the private Hindu school on West Coast Demerara that’s consistently been doing well, copped FIVE OF THE TOP TEN PLACES’! Now, that’s exceptional by ANY measure, but when that measure incorporates the fact that kids in these outlying areas don’t attract the NGSA high-flyers who “gain” Queen’s and the other “elite” Georgetown schools, than their performance is absolutely mind-boggling!! And Abrams Zuil from Essequibo was in that top ten also.

And when one expands the gaze to the top 20, Anna Regina from Essequibo had five; and from the top 100, there were students across Guyana! It’s high time we focus on this good news. In CAPE, it was the same story: Queen’s dominating the headlines and SVN getting lost in the shuffle. If nothing else, we should be stressing the success of these “outside” schools, since they make the Minister’s drive to bring them up to par with Queen’s more feasible!

And this brings your Eyewitness to those mind-boggling numbers of subjects the top students passed. Once again, 23 subjects with NINETEEN GRADE ONES?? If these numbers of subjects weren’t written in hope of securing a scholarship, that’s amazing!!

Not to rain on their parade, but this sadly reflects our focus on rote learning, when the rest of the world has moved on to critical thinking!

…lacking from WI

Your Eyewitness’s loyal readers would know he’s a “cricket tragic” – so his moods rise and fall with the fortunes of the WI cricket teams. So, you’d also now know that he hasn’t been doing too well lately! Here we were -the World Cup champs, and we performed like CHUMPS, to be knocked out even before our last game! And why? Our selectors refused to read the writing on the wall – and from the mouth of Curtly Ambrose – that our seniors were too much “senior” – too long in the tooth!

Now this isn’t just with the benefit of hindsight. The T20 World Cup didn’t just creep up on us: we had three years – one extra because of COVID – to get ready. What was our cricket administration doing? Look at Sri Lanka – they culled their seniors and went on a rebuilding programme. Why didn’t we? However, your Eyewitness was somewhat mollified when Hetmyer came through and showed some true grit!

There’s hope!

…in ganja

From the number of arrests for trafficking in ganja – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg, we can be sure – it’s clear that we’re becoming a major producer.

Which sadly makes it more difficult to legalise hemp.