Top 'A' Level achievers want govt to provide more scholarships

Stabroek News
September 1, 2000

Three top achievers in this year's 'A' Level examinations are imploring the government to provide additional scholarships for students who do exceptionally well.

Roger Nelson, Steven Backreedy and Vishal Bhagwandin emphasised their concern about where they will go from here instead of just focussing on their success. For their success, they thanked God, their parents and teachers.

While Nelson and Backreedy gained As in Pure Maths and Mechanical Engineering and Bs in Physics, Bhagwandin copped an A in Pure Maths and Bs in Mechanical Engineering and Physics.

All three wrote the examinations at Queen's College (QC).

Backreedy of Middle and East Streets, Alberttown, is looking towards furthering his studies in the United Kingdom and would be considering Computer or Mechanical Engineering. Like his two colleagues he would be giving back something to the country by teaching for the next year. Since Nelson and himself are both old students of Bishops' High School, they would be teaching at the two top schools.

The jovial Backreedy said that while he was a bit lazy in the first year, he buckled down in the second year and is proud of his achievement.

Nelson, who resides at South Ruimveldt Park, also plans to study overseas and he is seeking a college in the United States. Both of these young men expected to get straight As in their subjects but are still satisfied with their performances.

Nelson, the valedictorian at his school's graduation, said without the support of his family members he would not have been so successful. Bhagwandin, a resident of Dennis Street, Campbellville, is also aiming to attend a university in the US with an Aeronautical or Air Space Engineering career in mind. He congratulated all of the students who were successful in their examinations at QC.

All three of these young men are hoping to receive scholarships in order to attend the universities of their choice.

They pointed out that if the government wanted to improve academic performance in the country, it must invest in providing more scholarships for successful students.

"We need more incentives," they said, noting that in the days when Guyana provided more scholarships it was rated among the best academically in the region.

Another point of concern for them is the availability of laboratory facilities in schools. They think that in future the Ministry of Education should focus on upgrading labs in schools as this is crucial to the success of the students.

They observed that the highest grade in practicals this year was a grade B and they think this was due to the poor conditions of school labs.

They also don't agree with abolishing the GCE 'A' Levels in schools. Recently it was decided that schools should offer the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) in the sixth form. However, they believe that students should be allowed to choose which of the exams they want to write. For a word of advice to those who would be writing exams next year, they declared "Dream what you want to dream. Go where you want to go. Be what you want to be as you only have one life and one chance to do all the things you can do."

The teachers they identified for special credit were Miss Gobin, Sir Deoraj, Sir Carryl, Miss Kissoon, Sir Trotz, Miss Massiah, Miss Hazel, Sir Ganesh, Sir Ow-King and Sir Samuel Lee.

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