CSEC results: Manickchand praises dedication of teachers
Minister of Education Priya Manickchand has praised the dedication of teachers who have worked hard over the years with students to ensure good results despite the difficulties the COVID-19 pandemic posed to learning, and she said she was “over the moon” that students from schools outside of Georgetown were again among the top performers in this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.
On Thursday, she announced that Alex Muntaz, a student from the Anna Regina Multilateral School on the Essequibo Coast, secured the most Grade Ones in this year’s CSEC. Muntaz gained 23 Grade Ones and four Grade Twos. This is the second year in a row that the Anna Regina Multilateral School has secured students with the most Grade Ones in the country.
The student with the second highest number of Grade Ones in this year’s CSEC exams is Virendra Dookie of the Saraswati Vidya Niketan School on the West Coast of Demerara. He scored 19 Grade Ones and One Grade Two.
Manickchand noted that there was a time when top performers mainly came from Queen’s College in Georgetown. She reasoned this was because the top performers at the Grade Six Assessment are placed at Queen’s College.
“…So clearly other schools weren’t really adding value,” Manickchand said in an interview with the News Room at the Anna Regina Multilateral School.
As a result, she praised teachers, such as those at the Anna Regina Multilateral School, who are “working on adding value.”
“This school particularly has, I think 69 teachers, and the dedication that they put into these students is really turning out fruit and we’re very, very pleased about that.
“So, I’m over the moon.”
She noted that the children who wrote this year’s CSEC were displaced or were limited in accessing classes for the few years of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the overall results of this year’s CSEC exams have to be seen in that context.
“That was a really hard time.
“It affected many things – their SBAs (School Based Assessments), their literacy levels, the practicality of what they were doing, and you’re seeing that in results, not only here in Guyana but across the region,” she stated.
Manickchand pointed out that there was a prediction from studies that because of COVID there would be premature school leaving (school dropouts) and a great amount of learning loss.
“And we’re measuring those things and you are actually seeing it.
“We have been able to stem the dropouts – the school leaving – because we really worked very hard to try to get everybody back in.
“But we are seeing some learning loss and those are reflected in these results – and these are things we have to practically face.”
Manickchand predicted that there would be opportunistic opposition politicians or others who would criticise the results, but she said the impact of COVID-19 has to be taken into consideration.
“We have to now speak of the impact of COVID in a way that serves our children’s best interest, and I’m prepared to have that conversation.”