New Amsterdam Multilateral records best ever examination results
Guyana Chronicle
December 4, 2003

Related Links: Articles on academic excellence
Letters Menu Archival Menu

NEW Amsterdam Multilateral School (NAMS) recorded its best ever examination results with an unprecedented 111 Grade Ones, including 42 Grade A profiles, Headmaster Elton Lewis reported.

In his presentation at the 16th annual graduation and prize-giving exercise last Thursday, he said 105 students wrote the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination this year, achieving a success rate of 75.7 per cent.

There were 100 per cent passes in History, Food and Nutrition, Home Economics, Management and Office Procedure, Mr Lewis told the gathering during the function which was punctuated with cultural items.

Representatives of the various streams - Agriculture, Arts, Business, Home Economics, Science and Technology - expressed gratitude to their respective teachers while reflecting on the years of fond memories at the school.

Mo Alialhakim secured two Grade Threes, one Grade Four and one Grade Five on a seven-point grading system and achieved a Grade Three as the only candidate who wrote Food and Nutrition at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) 2003 sitting.

Lezon Langford was successful in 10 subjects, getting six Grade Ones, three Grade Twos and one Grade Three, with distinctions in English A and Social Studies.

Other top performers were Bavita Ramlall, Lesa Denny, Navin Tangalan, Nafeeza Khan, Carlotta Kursattie and Kerry Anne Edwards, who all gained passes ranging from seven to nine with five Grade Ones.

The ceremony was chaired by Mr Gyandat Marray, a pharmacist.

Lewis said, while no significant staff shortage existed, the positions of heads of departments for English and Science have remained vacant for several years.

He, however, noted that the professional training of the teachers continued with four being released to study part-time at University of Guyana and six attending Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE).

Lewis said the school’s administration is ever cognisant of the need to cater for a wide range of student interests and abilities and two significant initiatives were taken.

For the first time, seven students, fully supported by the school, were able to successfully complete the CSEC programme in Electrical and Electronics Technology and CAPE was introduced with five subjects being offered - Caribbean Studies, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology and Food and Nutrition.

Lewis said a great effort is made to promote all-round development of students by involving them in sports, debates, essay and quiz competitions.

He said, in the physical display competition category for Mashramani 2003, the school group emerged winners regionally and nationally while the football and basketball teams convincingly won the regional inter-school contests.

Lewis said, although there is still an urgent need to make adequate provision for greater security of the school buildings in order to prevent loss of equipment and materials, it is anticipated that, with greater accommodation, Information Technology (IT) facilities will be upgraded and students will be afforded ample opportunities to pursue studies up to the CAPE level.

Delivering the feature address, Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary), Ms Donna Chapman challenged the institution to improve the CSEC results, by producing at least 70 per cent of the graduating class with five subjects and more including English A and Mathematics with Grades One to Three.

She expressed the hope that NAMS would send candidates to write CSEC Expressive Arts in the near future.

Chapman said it has been recognised worldwide that education has a fundamental role to play in the development of a nation and the recognition and conviction has led to vigorous debate on the future of the process in Guyana, more particularly at the secondary level.

That has resulted in the Education Ministry implementing strategies to ensure universal secondary education in the not too distant future.

“This bid to provide our young people with quality education has moved to another stage. In fact, Third, Fourth and Fifth formers in many of our secondary schools are now being exposed to a structured and systematic career education/guidance programme, which will better prepare them for the work environment,” she added.

Chapman said, despite the implementation, too many youths continue to ignore the fact that education is the cornerstone to a better and rewarding life.

“In fact, our young people’s view of life has become blurred and shortsighted – all they see is money and more money. This has resulted in many of them becoming trapped in the dark underground world of crime, guns, drugs and smuggling,” she declared.

Chapman said: “Today we live in a lawless and indisciplined republic. Our young people are comfortable with their lack of morals and acts of indiscipline. Our schools have become war zones with students fighting each other and sometimes teachers. The indiscipline has extended to the point where students fail to submit school based assessments (SBAs). Our society is a crude and uncultured one.”

She reminded the students that they can make a difference because they are the agents of change.

“You can strive to resolve conflicts in peaceful ways instead of committing murder or suicide. You are expected to demonstrate all the positives your teachers and role models preached.”

Chapman expressed her disappointment over the increase in single parenthood, noting that too many of children’s fathers have abandoned their responsibilities.

In her view, some have dropped off the map and others have decided to be fathers by remote control and she cautioned the young men in the graduating class to change the trend by pursuing education and becoming involved in their children’s upbringing. (Jeune Bailey Van-Keric)