The Cambridge Outstanding Learner Awards is an annual event on the Ministry of Education calendar, and this year, 22 award recipients from both public and private institutions were presented with a total of 40 awards for their outstanding achievements in the Cambridge examinations.
In a ceremony spearheaded by the Assessment & Examinations Section within the Centre for Curriculum, Assessment & Teacher Support (CCATS) of the Ministry of Education and in collaboration with Cambridge International Examinations, the 22 students who excelled in various IGCSE (International General Certificate of Secondary Education), AS (Advanced Subsidiary) level & A (Advanced) level subjects in the October/November Examinations of 2015, received awards for being outstanding in either one, two or all three examination subjects that they sat.
The ceremony, which was attended by the Principal Secretaries for Education, Dr. Linda Barallon and Mrs. Merida Delcy; senior officers from the Ministry of Education, School Principals, the award recipients and their families, was held at the Seychelles Institute of Teacher Education (SITE) on Thursday 09th June 2016.
Mr. Juan Visser, the Cambridge Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean, who was also on his second consecutive visit to the Seychelles, was the guest of honour at the ceremony.
In her opening address, the Director General for CCATS, Dr. Odile Decomarmond, congratulated the awardees for their excellent work and said that by truly excelling in their studies at both national and international levels, they have made their country proud and that their achievements, remain a source of motivation and also become an inspiration for other students and youths, especially those faced with tough challenges in their lives.
Dr. Decomarmond also congratulated parents who have made sacrifices for their children’s education and noted that sacrifices made have borne fruits and have been worthwhile, "no doubt that you can all be very proud of your children’s achievements and may you be examples to other parents to inspire them to follow suit" she went on to say.
In closing Dr. Decomarmond cited the famous poet, Lakkoju Goutam’s quote, "There are four pillars, on which you can build the platform, to reach the zenith of success: Dedication, Devotion, Discipline and Determination". Pillars of which were certainly adhered to by the award recipients. She also added the words of Mark Lamoure who said: "All things are possible to those who believe in themselves", urging students to continue to believe in themselves for future successes. Dr. Decomarmond ended her address with a quote from the famous Greek philosopher Aristotle, "we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit," and it is by living these words of advice, she said, that you will find academic and professional growth as you move up the ladder of success for yourself, your family and your country.
The Cambridge Regional Director for Sub-Saharan Africa and Indian Ocean, Mr. Juan Visser expressed his appreciation for the invitation extended to him by the Ministry of Education to attend the ceremony and present the awards to the recipient.
In his key note address, Mr Visser also noted that Cambridge recognises the tremendous effort and hard work of the students for them to be where they are today. He mentioned that we are in the process of teaching students skills and preparing them for jobs, which at present, do not even exist; technology which will be used in the future which has not even been invented yet; all the while stressing on innovative teaching and learning.
The next highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the awards to students. The following students who excelled in the different subjects and examinations were presented with a certificate for their achievements.
Top in Seychelles in Cambridge IGCSE subjects
Biology/Chemistry – Brigitte Cave – Mont Fleuri Secondary School
First Language English – Sophie Mancienne – Independent School
French as a Foreign Language – Loren Madnack – Independent School
Geography/History – Anna Yang – Independent School
Information & Communication Technology – Nisha Pillay – Independent School
Mathematics – Alexander Afif – Independent School
Mathematics/Physics – Laurent Pool – Independent School
Top in Seychelles in Cambridge A Level subjects
Business Studies – Shania Low-Thion – School of Advanced Level Studies
Mathematics – Dean Waye-Hive – School of Advanced Level Studies
High Achievers in Cambridge IGCSE subjects
Business Studies – Elke Talma – ALDEC (now known as SIDOL-Seych. Institute of Distance and Open Learning (Director to collect on behalf))
Literature in English – Anna Yang – Independent School
High Achievers in Cambridge AS Level subjects
Biology/Mathematics – Chelsea Mc Gaw – International School
Chemistry/Geography – Alissia Lavigne – Independent School
Computer Science – Sean Pillay – Independent School
English Language – Maria Lefevre – Independent School
History/Literature in Engish/Business Studies – Vadrine Boulle – Independent School
High Achievers in Cambridge A Level subjects
Accounting – Shania Low-Thon – School of Advanced Level Studies
Biology/Chemistry – S. Sujitha Pillay – Independent School
Chinese – Zhang Jing – International School
Economics – Sheryl Laporte – School of Advanced Level Studies
Physics – Dean Waye-Hive – School of Advanced Level Studies
Best across 7 Cambridge IGCSEs
First place – Nisha Pillay – Independent School
Best across 9 Cambridge IGCSEs
First place – Anna Yang – Independent School
Best across 3 Cambridge International AS Level
Third place – Emmy-Lee Lucas – Independent School
Second place – Alessia Lavigne – Independent School
First place – Vadrine Boulle – Independent School
Best across 3 Cambridge International A Level
Second place – Paul Gédéon – School of Advanced Level Studies
First place – Sadsitha Lokuge – School of Advanced Level Studies
Best across 4 Cambridge International A Level
First place – S. Sujitha Pillay – Independent School
The ultimate award was presented to 3 students who came out 2nd, 3rd and 8th in the world for Cambridge IGCSE and A level subjects.
Sadsitha Lokuge (SALS) who came out 2nd in the world for A Level Computing;
Tessa Mancienne (Independent School) who came out 3rd in the world for Cambridge IGCSE English as a Second Language;
Paul Gédéon (SALS) who came out 8th in the world for A Level Computing.
After the presentation of certificates, Mr. Visser presented each awardee with a token from Cambridge.
Former SALS student and awardee, Paul Gédéon, closed the ceremony by expressing the gratitude of his fellow students towards Mr. Juan Visser who by representing Cambridge show that the Univeristy remains committed in rewarding those who excel in the Cambridge International Examinations. He also thanked the Ministry of Education for valuing the students’ achievements as well as the Centre for Curriculum, Assessment & Teacher Support for their renewed effort in orgainising the ceremony.
Paul also made special mention of the teachers whom he said were instrumental in their academic success. He noted the important roles of parents who there to provide the environment for learning and to give the necessary support and "extra push" when it was most needed and friends who assisted in "the little things we didn’t quite understand in class".
Paul concluded by saying that many people do not even realize they have potential to push themselves further but are reluctant to do so due to lack of hard work or by claiming that there were not born with such ability. He therefore, urged everyone to go forth and do the things that they are capable of doing so that they can astound themselves.