With Queen’s College [QC] claiming seven out of the 10 top spots, the results of the 2018 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate [CSEC] examination was announced yesterday by Minister of Education, Ms. Nicolette Henry.
Claiming the top spot this year is QC’s Christian Pile with 19 grade ones.
With 18 Ones and 2 Twos, Shakira Bholo of the Anna Regina Secondary School was named the second best performer. Following with 18 Grade Ones is Salma Majeed of ISA Islamic, while Areeb Ali of QC claimed the fourth best performing position with 17 Ones, 3 Twos and 1 Three.
Anna Regina’s Secondary Camecia De LaCruz is fifth this year with 17 Ones, 2 Twos and 1 Three. The sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th places all went to QC students Haema Dasrath [17 Ones, 1 Two and 1 Three]; Aarti Hooblall [17 Ones and 3 Twos]; Reseda Hack [15 Ones, 3 Twos and 1 Three]; Leshanna Bindah [15 Ones, 2 Twos and 2 Three] and Yashoda Samaroo [15 Ones and 2 Twos].
But although the Minister spoke of improvements in many subject areas, the atmosphere was a sombre one as she announced the results yesterday. This was in spite of the disclosure of Chief Education Officer [CEO], Mr. Marcel Hutson, that “we are indeed happy to make the [2018 CSEC] presentation…”
In fact, unlike the past few years when the Ministry invited a number of the top performing students to share the spotlight as the results were announced, this year the auditorium of the National Centre for Educational Resource Development [NCERD] was mainly filled with education officials and members of the media eager to hear the results announcement.
However, Hutson, who spoke ahead of the Minister, said the results show that “we are on a developmental trajectory. This movement is not exactly where we want to be, but we are moving anyhow, and I think that is critical, that is what is significant in the education sector.”
The CEO attributed the movement to what he called “some behaviour patterns that we have seen in the education sector. I think the movement is inextricably bound to those patterns.”
He said, based on the results the Ministry has been seeing, “I think more and more we are beginning to recognize what we ought to do, how we ought to function, and I think that is gaining traction.”
“What is even more important, we recognize that all of our children are gifted, regardless of wherever they are born, whoever their parents might be or where they come from. They are gifted, and therefore we have a responsibility to tap into that giftedness and to ensure that our children perform, with respect to applying the right kind of methodologies as it relates to teaching and learning,” Hutson said.
He also shared his conviction that more staffers within the education sector are becoming more passionate in understanding how they ought to function. This, he said, is being done in the context of collaboration with teachers.
“Collaboration is a watchword in the Ministry of Education…with our teachers, our students, our parents who have been working assiduously and energetically to ensure that there is movement in the sector and that our children receive the best possible education that they could receive,” said Hutson, as he also stressed the importance of perseverance.
“I think we are learning to persevere and we are learning not to give up. We are not going to fool ourselves; we are nowhere where we want to be as an education sector, but I think that systems are in place to ensure that we get where we want to be,” said Hutson.
As he quoted the words of Winston Churchill “success is never final, failure is never fatal but it is courage that matters,” Hutson assured his audience that, “this is the spirit that we are cultivating.”
Moreover, the CEO asserted that, “in spite of all of our distractions in certain quarters and whatever might be impinging or impeding progress, we are still marching on, and we intend to march on, and we have been doing that.”
As she congratulated the students that have been able to matriculate this year, the Education Minister revealed that a total of 12,269 candidates registered for CSEC this year, a decrease from the 12,684 who were registered last year. She disclosed too that an analysis of the results show that 69.1 percent obtained grades one to three passes, an improvement of eight percent from 2017.
“We saw a number of improved performances,” said Minister Henry, as she alluded to improved grades one to three passes in both English A and English B. This year saw English A recording a pass rate of 67.14 percent comparable to 57.99 percent in 2017.
In the area of English B, there was a 78.6 percent as compared to 44.45 percent in 2017. Mathematics saw an improvement with a pass rate of 43.39 percent this year as compared to 39.23 percent in 2017. Additional Mathematics on the other hand, remained constant with a pass rate of 68.45 percent. Last year the pass rate was 68.61 percent in 2017.
Following the announcement of the results yesterday this publication sought to reach out to a number of the top performers, many of whom are currently enjoying their summer vacation.
CHRISTIAN PILE – 19 Grade onesWith his 19 grade ones, 16-year-old Christian Pile, of D’Urban Backlands, has again claimed the top performer place for QC. He disclosed that although his initial plan was to undertake 16 subjects the encouragement of his mother, a former teacher, saw him challenging himself to do three more. In addition to the support of his parents [FayAnn and Nigel Pile], Pile credits his success to the support he got from both his class and lesson teachers, classmates and the Almighty Creator.Come September, Pile hopes to commence Sixth Form at QC as he decides on the career path he will eventually follow.
SHAKIRA BHOLO – 18 Ones, 2 Twos
Seventeen-year-old Shakira Bholo, a student of Anna Regina Secondary, said that she is most grateful to God for her outstanding performance. The Cotton Field, Essequibo Coast resident also spoke of the support from her parents.
“They supported me financially, morally and most of all emotionally,” said Bholo, who aspires to one day become an economist.
SALMA MAJEED – 18 Ones
“My performance has shocked me, but I am extremely contented and filled with delight,” said 16-year-old Salma Majeed of her CSEC performance. The ISA Islamic student credits her achievement, “to Allah, since of course nothing is possible without His will.” She was also in high praise for her parents, and both lesson and class teachers whom she said “always believed in me.”
While Majeed, who resides in Queenstown, Georgetown, hopes to one day become a lawyer and humanitarian, for now her plan is to head to Sixth Form.
AREEB ALI – 17 Ones, 3 Twos, 1 Three
Areeb Ali, yet another QC top performer, has been named among the top performers. He however is not too jubilant but rather, said, “I feel chilled, I don’t really feel anything.”
The brother of CAPE top performer and a former CSEC top performer too, Aadilah, Ali is hoping to follow in his sister’s path to continue at QC to complete CAPE. He too credits his success to Allah, his teachers, parents and his sister, and all those other persons who backed in one way or another.
CAMECIA DE LACRUZ – 17 Ones, 2 Twos, 1 Three
Camecia De Lacruz who hails from Anna Regina, said that she owes her accomplishment to her parents, whom she said have been very supportive and catered to her every need. Although the Anna Regina Secondary School student had hoped to do much better, she expressed appreciation for the support she gained from other relatives, her teachers, classmates and siblings.
De LaCruz also emphasised that, “God has also been with me each step of the way.”
As she looks to the future, she hopes to one day enter the medical field by becoming a surgeon, oncologist or an obstetrician.
HAEMA DASRATH – 17 Ones, 1 Two, 1 Three
“I dedicated myself to my work,” confided Heama Dasrath, as she revealed that there were days that she did not have the confidence that she would have excelled in all of the subject areas she wrote. She however said that she challenged herself to do her best, but admitted, “when I saw my results, it was a shocker.” This 17-year-old Ruby, East Bank Essequibo girl, credits her success to family support and the commitment of her teachers.
With her good grades in hand, Dasrath hopes to be accepted at a university overseas where she intends to pursue studies in Law. “I hope to maybe one day become a Prosecuting Attorney,” she said.
AARTI HOOBLALL – 17 Ones, 3 Twos
Happy with her results, 16-year-old QC student, Aarti Hooblall of Annandale, East Coast Demerara is ready to continue at QC at the Sixth Form level. In an invited comment to this publication, Hooblall said that her success was due in part to her dedication to her studies and the support she got from her parents, especially her mother, and her teachers.
Explaining the reason for opting to write so many subjects, she said, “I wanted to have a chance to have options in terms of deciding on my career path.”
RESEDA HACK – 15 Ones, 3 Twos, 1 Three
For Reseda Hack, being among the country’s CSEC top performers is an amazing accomplishment. It was important for this 17-year-old to do well, since according to her, “my parents uprooted their whole family from Bartica just so I could’ve attended QC.”
Hack, who made Meadow Brook, Georgetown, her adopted home, said that she is especially grateful for her achievement. Not only were her parents a main source of support, but her teachers and friends were as well. She hopes to continue at QC with the hope of pursuing an Associated Degree in Natural Sciences.
LESHANNA BINDAH – 15 Ones, 2 Twos, 2 Threes
Although Leshanna Bindah of Newtown, Georgetown had her heart set on claiming the top position at the CSEC exams this year, she nevertheless said that she was proud of her accomplishment.
“I thank those who worked tirelessly with me throughout the stressful period,” said the 17-year-old QC student. She was especially eager to thank several family members and teachers as well as some of her friends. As she heads to Sixth Form, Bindah said that she one day aspires to become a Psychologist, Fashion Designer and a model.
YASHODA SAMAROO – 15 Ones, 2 Twos
Sixteen-year-old Yashoda Samaroo certainly was not expecting what she was able to achieve at CSEC. But she is pleased that she got the necessary support to come out on top. This QC student from Lusignan, East Coast Demerara, is especially thankful to her parents, siblings and teachers, and God, too, for helping her along.
She plans to head to the University of Guyana where she will pursue studies in Law.
BEGUM BAKSH – 15 Ones, 1 Two
As she contemplates her career path, 17-year-old Begum Baksh is basking in the glory of her CSEC achievement. The Anna Regina Secondary student, who hails from Sparta Dam, Essequibo Coast, said that she is proud. She like the other top performers insisted that she could not have excelled had it not been for some key supporters in her life including her parents and, of course, teachers.
Although the top performer has a passion for Geography and Mathematics, she said that while she once dreamt of becoming a lawyer, she is yet to decide on a career pursuit.
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