Slighted by CXC, Zane Ramotar now CAPE Top Performer

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By Vishani Ragobeer

After reviewing his lower-than-expected grades from the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) following the completion of his Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), Queen’s College student, Zane Ramotar, has emerged as Guyana’s top CAPE performer.

In 2013, Ramotar was among the country’s top performers at the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA). He, subsequently, attended the country’s premier secondary school – Queen’s College – where he successfully wrote 13 subjects at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) Examinations. Then, in his first year of CAPE, he excelled as well.

But, when the results for CAPE were announced in September 2020, Ramotar and scores of other students knew that there had been some discrepancies.

“After CAPE (Year One), I was the top CAPE One student with Seven Grade Ones so I basically had my foot halfway through the door, expecting that I would have been the Top CAPE Two (student) and having that taken away from me – seeing myself get a (Grade) Four in maths when I am a maths student – it really affected me,” Ramotar told the News Room during an interview on Saturday.

Eventually, the discrepancies raised prompted the Ministry of Education in Guyana and in other Caribbean countries, to engage CXC. That engagement paved the way for a review process, which is still not entirely complete, according to Education Minister, Priya Manickchand.

With the reviews completed thus far, however, Ramotar has been deemed Guyana’s top CAPE performer since he scored 14 Grade Ones and One Grade Two, overall. He is followed by Naomi Cambridge from the St Rose’s High School, who scored 12 Grade Ones and Two Grade Twos, and Christian Pile, his colleague from Queen’s College, who scored 11 Grade Ones and One Grade Two.

When asked if he feels vindicated with the announcement, Ramotar explained that the review process took about six months to complete, during which time he already applied to universities abroad to further his studies.

“I couldn’t put ‘Top Student’ on my university applications and so forth, and get the results together in time,” the young man said, explaining that this reduced the ‘edge’ he could have possessed in his university applications. He also highlighted that he is not sure if he would opt to reapply to some universities since the application process is a taxing one.

However, he has been accepted to the University of Southern California (USC), in the United States (US) and he is upbeat about pursuing studies in Physics there.

“I really want to study physics because I want to have a job in the field of physics. I’m not exactly entirely sure what job as yet (but) probably a lecturer in the field of physics and that facility is notorious for having great research facilities,” the young man said, adding later: “Once I am going to university, I am pretty sure that I’ll be able to continue exactly where I left off.”

Already, Ramotar has been spending much of the past few months teaching Physics at QC.

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