Belize City resident Alexandria Nichole Fermin is the 2018 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate’s (CSEC) most outstanding candidate. She and over 500 students across the country received their certificate of excellence this morning at the Twenty-Fourth annual CXC National Awards Ceremony in Orange Walk Town. Dalila Ical has more.
Dalila Ical: “The two top performers of the 2018 Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate CSEC Exams are graduates of Edward P. Yorke High School in Belize City. Alexandra Nicole Fermin placed in first: she obtained 16 grade 1’s and one grade 2 at the general proficiency level. Ashton Mark Tillet placed second with fifteen grade 1’s and two grade 2’s. In third place is Mia Wu of St. Katherine’s Academy. Chair of the National Committee Brenda Armstrong says the number of students sitting the exams have spiked from 387 last year.
Chair of the National Committee Brenda Armstrong: “We weren’t prepared for this year’s results which far surpassed last year’s performance. We have indeed raised the bar, there are 588 Certificates of Excellence recipients and our Certificates of Achievements which are given to the students at their schools exceed 800.”
Dalila Ical: “But even more impressive perhaps is how far students have began pushing their abilities.”
Chair of the National Committee Brenda Armstrong: “And we were very impressed with the quality of the grades that these students attained and they weren’t just focusing on one area of studies. What we notice was that the students performed in a rounded sense. They are taking Sciences as well as Business subjects as well as the Humanities and so it is kind of like setting a trend for the future. If you want to be at these awards you can’t stick in one corner only and you have to broaden your horizons, add subjects that perhaps don’t have SBA’s that you can challenge on our own.”
Dalilah Icall: “But it’s a feat that takes much determination and focus as top performer for the country Alexandria Fermin can now attest to.”
Top performer for the country Alexandria Fermin: “Ridiculous they were a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of days when coffee was definitely needed but I can’t say that it was just hard work. A lot of it was support because I could have put in all the hard work I wanted but if it wasn’t for my mom and all my friends and even some of my friends parents who sat there and said I know you are tired right now, I know it feels that you can’t do it but you can because we know that you can, you are brilliant and if you work hard enough you will do it and I did and even when I got my results I didn’t know at first, it was like 16 Grade 1’s yeah that’s exciting but I wasn’t thinking that I would ever be first place. I always thought it was going to be someone better you know but for the minute they saw they knew. All these teachers, all these parents coming at me like you did it and it was overwhelming but it felt really good though.”
Dalilah Ical: “Why did you choose to take so many exams?”
Top performer for the country Alexandria Fermin: “At first I wanted to do the 15 for the grant that was going to be allotted to me for my Tertiary education, my mom is a single mother and she has two daughters and education is expensive, it is not the easiest thing to come by the opportunity so this was the beginning for her. I wasn’t that confident in my abilities like I stated before so the next two that I did was more fall back but not really. I was only going to do like one, the extra one. My principal said there is a record you know, 16 Grade 1’s is the most that ever happened anywhere and I want you to get like 17. I want you to break that record because I know you can do it and I fell just a little bit short you know I could have gotten that 17 1’s but I didn’t so that’s how I end up with 17.”
Dalilah Ical: “Fermin says her dream is to become an Anesthesiologist. The second top performer Mark Ashton Tillet another Science major echoed that his success was not only the result of his hard work. “
The second top performer Mark Ashton Tillet: “There was a lot of work that had to be put in , we had our daily classes, we had the teachers volunteering to tutor us in the afternoons, in the evenings and even on the weekends we had Easter classes even but with all those classes I still had to put in a lot of personal studying and personal work to be completely prepared for the exam.”
Dalilah Ical: “Why did you decide to take on so much?”
The second top performer Mark Ashton Tillet: ”I am extremely competitive and I want to be the best so I aim for that but I didn’t get my goal but I still did great. I mean I aimed for the moon but I landed among the stars as they say.”
Daliah Ical: “Tillet says that he is currently pursuing an Associates Degree in Biology and Chemistry. The Minister of Education Patrick Faber was not present at the ceremony and speaking on his behalf was Minster Godwin Hulse who expressed his excitement to share in the occasion.”
Godwin Hulse: “In Belize we are still running behind at the level of Tertiary education with respect to our neighboring countries etc. so it is something we have to push on and as you heard Government’s budget is focused on education 25% it. Almost $250,000,000, that’s a huge budget and so we have to push and push. I know that there is this feeling all the time that there are lots of children are left behind, that is a challenge we have to leave none behind but at the same time we have to push those who are doing excellent further because at the end of the day the cream rises to the top and those are the ones that will run our Country, our Industries, our Politics and every facet of life in this country so this was an exciting day for me to be sure.
Daliah Ical: “Dalilah Ical Love News.”
The ministry of education indicates that no candidate qualified for the Belize Scholarship for 2018 for the May – June 2018 CAPE Examinations, but twenty-one top performers who sat the exam were awarded in today’s ceremony.