Top performers awarded by CXC; PM wants talent nurtured for regional development


By Lazeena Yearwood

Guyana on Thursday evening hosted the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) award ceremony and Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips advised that young talent within the Caribbean must be nurtured to become future leaders.

A total of eight awards were nabbed by Guyanese students for their outstanding performance at this year’s Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).

Academic whizzes and regional heads joined their Guyanese counterparts at the National Cultural Centre for the auspicious occasion.

Prime Minister Phillips said despite the region’s smallness and economic limitations, it has consistently invested in harnessing its human resources, producing exceptional students.

“Let us take pride in our top performers and express our gratitude in tangible ways to those who push their limits. To sustain our success, we must exercise prudent stewardship of our educational institutions, nurturing the talents and abilities of our people as a united region. One such institution which we must seriously safeguard is the Caribbean examinations Council,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Brigadier (Ret’d) Mark Phillips escorted by Education Minister Priya Manickchand

The top awards were presented to Alex Muntaz of Anna Regina Secondary School, who topped the entire Caribbean at this year’s CSEC examination. He received awards for the Most Outstanding CSEC Candidate Overall and the Most Outstanding Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) student for the region.

Siddiq Gafar of the ISA Islamic School nabbed the accolade for most outstanding student in Business at the CSEC; Abigail Stephanas of Queen’s College copped the award for most outstanding Science student; Nailah Rahaman, also of Queen’s College, was the most outstanding student in Humanities; Naresh Jagnanan of Queen’s College, is this year’s top Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) student and nabbed the most outstanding award in Business Studies, the Most Outstanding CAPE candidate overall.

And Anna Regina Secondary School earned the award for CXC School of the Year, while Queen’s College received the CAPE Top School Award.

Minister of Education Priya Manickchand presents an award to Alex Muntaz, the country’s most outstanding performer for this year’s examinations  (Photo: Ministry of Education/ December 7, 2023)

Meanwhile Matthew Dunn of Jamaica York Castle High School was presented with the University of Guyana’s Menezes-Rodney Award for the Most Outstanding Student in CSEC History.

CXC’s Chairman, Hilary Beckles noted that the council will continue to elevate its curriculum to maintain the region’s outstanding academic achievements.

“We at the CXC are here in demonstration of our solidarity with the people of this proud nation.

“This nation can count on us to stand side by side with it as you have been proud to stand with CXC,” the Council’s Chairman said.

Notably, the Council is celebrating its 50th year and Beckles said the institution recognizes the commitments of each nation. Registrar and CEO of CXC, Dr Wayne Wesley also delivered brief remarks and congratulated the students for their exceptional achievements.

Meanwhile, Minister of Education, Priya Manickchand said the achievements of each student from each nation is a demonstration of what is possible through perseverance and commitment. The minister commended each student who sat the exams for overcoming challenges.

“Today, we honour the brilliance, dedication, and perseverance to propel the students to the pinnacle of academic excellence.

“The awards we present are not just accolades, they are symbols of the potential that resides within each student and the promise of a brighter future for our region,” Minister Manickchand said.

The pivotal role of dedicated educators, supportive families and the entire academic community were also recognised for their role in guiding and encouraging the students as throughout their academic journey.

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