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  • Four Jamaicans are among 17 secondary students from across the region who topped the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) external tests for the 2013/14 academic year.

Four Jamaicans are among 17 secondary students from across the region who topped the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) external tests for the 2013/14 academic year.

The four are: Ricardo Nugent, William Knibb Memorial High School, Trelawny; Jozelle Dixon, Wolmer’s Girls High School, Kingston; Romario White, Campion College, St. Andrew; and Nile Anderson, Mannings School, Westmoreland.

They and their peers, drawn from other secondary institutions in Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana, were honoured for outstanding performances in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), during a recent presentation ceremony at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Regional Headquarters, at Mona, St. Andrew.

Ricardo earned the distinction of being the first Jamaican to cop the Caribbean Agricultural Research and Development Institute (CARDI) Award for Best Agricultural Science Student, having earned distinction in the subject at the CSEC level.

He was also adjudged to have recorded the Best Profile of Performance; Best Moderated School Based Assessment (SBA) Score; and Highest Composite Score.

Both Jozelle and Romario were awarded for their achievements in CAPE. Jozelle was adjudged to be the Most Outstanding Candidate in Humanities, having earned distinctions in seven Units. These include: Caribbean Studies, Communication Studies, Geography Units One and Two, History Units One and Two, and Sociology Unit One, in addition to Grade Two in Sociology Unit Two.

This performance earned her the CXC/Pearson Award, sponsored by Pearson Education, a United States-based entity, which provides publishing and assessment services to schools, among other entities.

Romario was deemed the Most Outstanding Candidate in Natural Sciences, earning distinctions in 10 Units, recording ‘As’ in the module grades: Biology Units One and Two, Caribbean Studies, Chemistry Units One and Two, Communication Studies, Physics Units One and Two, and Pure Mathematics Units One and Two.

Nile emerged the Most Outstanding Candidate in the Sciences in CSEC examinations, earning distinctions in 13 subjects.

These include: Additional Mathematics, Agricultural Science (SA), Biology, Chemistry, English A, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Mathematics, Office Administration, Physics, Principles of Accounts, Spanish, and Electronic Document Preparation and Management; and Grade Two in Economics, English B, and Geography.

Sushma Karim, formerly of Naparima Girls High School in Trinidad and Tobago was adjudged the Most Outstanding Overall CAPE Candidate in the Caribbean, having earned distinctions in12 Units.

This performance earned her the 2014 Dennis Irvine Award, named in honour of the late CXC Chairman, who served in that position from 1974 to 1979, and headed the organization when the examinations were first administered in 1979.

Elisa Hamilton of Queen’s College in Guyana was deemed the Most Outstanding Overall CSEC Candidate, having achieved distinction in 19 subjects, and Grade Two in one.

Other CAPE awards presented included Most Outstanding Candidate in: Technical Studies – Celeste Jaggai, Naparima Girls’ High School; Mathematics and Information and Communication Technology – Mandela Patrick, Naparima College; Modern Languages – Arifa Satnarine, St. Joseph’s Convent (San Fernando); Environmental Science – Ranissa Mathura, St. Joseph’s; and Business Studies – Sharda Goolcharan, Lakshmi Girls’ Hindu College, all in Trinidad and Tobago.

The other CSEC awards included Most Outstanding Candidate in: Humanities – Aliyyah Abdul Kadir, and Business Education – Ryhan Chand, Queen’s College; and Visual Arts (Two Dimensional Work) – Shivana Sookdeo, Naparima Girls’ High School, and Three Dimensional Work – Nneka Toni Jones, Bishop Anstey High School; and Short Story Writing – Kristan Mohammed, Tunapuna Secondary High School, all in Trinidad and Tobago; and Technical/Vocational Education – Kishan Crichlow, New Amsterdam Multilateral School, Guyana.

Prizes and awards presented included University of the West Indies (UWI) scholarships, commemorative plaques, and books.

Naparima Girls’ High School copped the CAPE 2014 School of the Year Award, while Queen’s College received the CSEC equivalent.

Guest speaker, Education Minister, Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites, commended the awardees, noting that political administrations across the Caribbean “want to see more students performing excellently.”

He also expressed great anticipation that, come 2015, more students from schools in territories other than Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Guyana, will figure among the top CAPE and CSEC performers.

“We wish to see top performers coming from a wide variety of schools, alongside the traditional schools that excel. Our young people, if given the opportunity to excel (will) seize it; and they can meet the academic requirements of top level tertiary institutions across the globe. They can match the scholastic abilities of their counterparts anywhere,” the Minister added.

Rev. Thwaites also commended the CXC on its work over the past 40 years, noting that the regional examinations body “has a very important role to play” in furthering the Caribbean’s educational development.

In his remarks, CXC Chairman and UWI Vice Chancellor, Professor Nigel Harris, described the regional examinations body as “one of the grand accomplishments of the Caribbean,” pointing out that “the staff of CXC…have managed to accomplish tremendous things,” over the years.

The Vice Chancellor also extended commendations to the students on their achievements.

Delivering a message on behalf of Opposition Leader, Andrew Holness, Principal of Jamaica College, Senator Ruel Reid, also congratulated the students, and hailed the inputs of parents and teachers, “who have worked tirelessly with our young people to achieve so much.”

Underscoring that “to whom much is given, much is expected,” Senator Reid urged the students to “continue on the path of excellence.”

Principal of Naparima Girls’ High School, Carolyn Bally-Gosine, said the institution’s administration, staff, and students were “overjoyed and honoured” to have been bestowed with the 2014 CAPE School of the Year Award.

Mrs. Bally-Gosine, who is a past student and has been a teacher at the school since 1982, indicated that “we are proud of all our awardees…and we have enjoyed nurturing and molding them into the exemplars they have become.”

Responding on behalf of her colleagues, Celeste Jaggai said: “My fellow top awardees and I are extremely honoured and humbled. We certainly acknowledge our responsibilities as future young leaders, and aspire to the further development of the Caribbean.”

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