Minister of Education Dr Rupert Roopnaraine on Friday urged students to pursue all-round development instead of merely academic development, while emphasising the need for music and sports to form an equally important part of their curriculum.
“May I also take this opportunity to restate my position that the system basically should offer our students a rounded education and not churn out one-dimensional citizens,” Roopnaraine said in his address to the audience at the Ministry of Education’s 20th National Award Ceremony for Outstanding Performance, at the National Cultural Centre.
The minister further stated that the ministry is reviewing the curriculum to ensure that exactly that is achieved, while he critiqued the ceremony for only rewarding academic performance.
“May I reiterate my observation that these awards are all about academia and I am disappointed that in addition to the academic awards, there are no awards for the outstanding non-academic or hybrid aspects of students’ performance,” Roopnaraine stated.
Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo, who made an appearance in place of President David Granger, supported Roopnaraine’s call for balance in the education system. In his feature address, he advised the students to always stand for principle and have something they believe in. “There is nothing more worthy of recognition than honesty, than integrity,” he affirmed.
The Ministry of Education presented 35 students and varying secondary schools with awards in 16 different categories at the event.
The recipients were awarded for their noteworthy performance at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA), the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC), the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), the Guyana Technical Education Examination (GTEE), as well as at the Carnegie School of Home Economics (CSHE) and the Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).
The top NGSA performers were Anthony Ferreira of Mae’s Under-12, who secured 568 marks; Aryan Singh of Dharmic Rama Krishna, who also attained 568 marks; Sarena Razak of Graham’s Hall Primary, who secured 565 marks; and Chelsea Barnes of Success Elementary, who attained 563 marks.
Kayshav Tewari, of Queen’s College, who topped the country at CSEC with 19 Grade Ones, received a total of four awards in the categories of ‘Best Secondary School Top Performers,’ ‘Best Science Performer at CSEC,’ ‘Best Performer’ at CSEC, and the Presidential Scholarship Award, which is bestowed upon the country’s best overall performer. Other recipients of the Presidential Scholarship Award were Fatima Karim, Sarah Hack and Larissa Wiltshire.
Tewari, who was overcome with excitement after being awarded for his achievements, said that although he knew he had topped the country, it was only on Friday morning that he learnt that he would be the recipient of the Caribbean awards as best performer.
Esther Hercules, of the Bishops’ High School, was awarded for Best Creative and Expressive Arts Performance at CSEC.
Other students aside from Tewari who received awards in the category of Best Senior Secondary School Performers were Karim, of St Rose’s High School, Aadilah Ali and Sariah Singh, both of Queen’s College.
Lennox Hernandez, a student of North West Secondary, was awarded the Desrey Fox Scholarship Award in absentia.
The country’s Best Junior Secondary Performers at CSEC were Ramkumarie Ramdass of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan; Joshua Indarjit of Skeldon Line Path Secondary; Kimberly Najab of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan; and Kevall Lall of the Anna Regina Secondary.
This year’s Most Improved primary, junior secondary and senior secondary schools went to the Providence Primary School, Bush Lot Secondary School and Mackenzie High School, respectively.
Wiltshire, the top 2015-2016 CAPE performer, who secured 12 Grade Ones, was not present to receive her awards but her parents stood in her place. Wiltshire was additionally awarded for being one of Guyana’s Best CAPE Performers this year.
Wiltshire’s mother, Justice Roxane George-Wiltshire, said she and her husband are very
happy about their daughter’s achievements, which have always been consistently high.
Wiltshire was previously the top performer at both the NGSA and at CSEC and is the under-19 squash champion for the Caribbean, and a member of the national senior squash team. She is currently in Jamaica completing a Dentistry programme.
The 2016 top CAPE performer was Deenauth Mohabeer of Queen’s College, who secured six Grade One passes and a Grade Two. Also awarded in the Top CAPE Performer category were Carissa Kissoon of Bishops’ High School, and Ashley Anthony, Joash Gobin and Shannon Woodroffe, all of Queen’s College, and who all secured six Grade One passes.
From the Carnegie School of Home Economics, Ayodele Bovell was the best performer in Garment Construction; Moneyep Thornhill, in Commercial Food Preparation; Gizelle Lopes in Catering and Hospitality; Suzanna Saunders, in General Hospitality; and Abigail Henry in Interior Decoration.
Nicketa Allicock and Shaunell Wilson were awarded for their performance in Visual Arts and Garment Construction, respectively, under the category of Craft Production and Design.
Under the Guyana Technical Education Examination category, students were awarded from the Government, Linden and New Amsterdam technical institutes.
Receiving awards from the Government Technical Institute were Romeo Matthews, who completed the Technician Certificate in tele-communications Part 2; Richard Kansinally, who was awarded a Diploma in Land Surveying and Rachelle Webster who completed an Ordinary Diploma in Science.
Tomeka Bobb, of the Linden Technical Institute, was awarded for her performance at the Computer Science diploma programme and Mahadeo Vickram for his performance in the Craft Certificate in Metal Machining and Mechanical Fitting.
Trisanna Edwards, who completed an ordinary Diploma in Commerce, was the only student awarded from the New Amsterdam Technical Institute.
The Best Graduating Student from the Cyril Potter College of Education, in the years 2014 to 2016, was Hirannie Persaud of the Anna Regina Centre, ADE Primary Programme.