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Nov 23, 2017

CSEC, CAPE’s Best Honored in the West

The CXC national committee recognized the best and the brightest in the Caribbean Secondary Education Examination and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination for Belize. The high academic achievers from all across Belize received their certificates and prizes at a ceremony in Cayo today. According to the CXC committee, the passes this year are better than last year’s performance with more than three hundred and eighty students awarded for good grades. Andrea Polanco travelled to San Ignacio today and tells us more about the top performing students at this year’s ceremony.

 

Andrea Polanco, Reporting

Fredezia Lambey of Independence High school is the top student in this year’s CSEC exams for the country. Fredezia sat sixteen exams – out of which she got fifteen grade ones and one grade two. Because she only took seven of the subjects in class, she had to put in the independent preparation for the other nine subjects. Fredezia and more than three hundred other students were honored for their academic performance in the CSEC and CAPE exams at the annual CXC ceremony today. Fredezia was surprised that she’s the most outstanding CSEC student for Belize.

 

Fredezia Lambey, Most Outstanding Student, CSEC

“I am thrilled. When I heard the news, I asked my mom, ‘are you sure? Like, are you sure?’ Right now I am still excited.    It was a lot of hard work but I am used to it. It wasn’t as bad as I had expected. I expected to be overloaded and tired and stressed, which I kinda was but I managed.”

 

Fredezia Lambey

Andrea Polanco

“For those courses or subjects that you don’t necessarily sit in a class to learn, what kinda work did you have to put in for those?”

 

Fredezia Lambey

“I had to give up my Christmas and my summer and for my Business subject I had a tutor Ms Leann who helped me and for my Science courses I just had to like do a lot of review and ask my teachers for past papers to help me further prepare me.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Did you set out to get the highest?”

 

Fredezia Lambey

“Well, I always wanted to but I honestly didn’t expect to get the highest but I am glad I did. Hard work does pay off.”

 

Fredezia’s mom, Ann Alvarado, says it is a proud day for her family. She says it takes more than materialistic support to help an academically bright child to succeed.

 

Ann Alvarado

Ann Alvarado, Mother of Fredezia Lambey

“I am extremely, extremely proud of her. Especially after she went through, so she is really deserving of this award.  The job was much easier for me because her resilience and self-discipline were the two biggest factors that made her successful and it also made the job easier for me. Overall, it was just about being there when she needed me; sometimes in the simplest of ways, maybe it was just to sit up at night with her while she was studying or if it required more than I did more.    It is more than just providing the basics; your children have to know that you are there for them. It means going the extra mile. For me, it also meant learning with her because of all the subjects she was taking, sometimes I knew nothing about them but helping her also taught me and taught her at the same time.”

 

And for Independence High School, this is big news. It is the first time they have captured the title of the top student in the CSEC exams.

 

Omar Longsworth

Omar Longsworth, Principal, Independence High School

“It is the first time for Independence High School but it is something that we were working towards over the years. I became Principal in 2006 and since then I put in the systems and the right infrastructure in place that we could have delivered the quality service to our students and I knew that at some point in time it would have been a reality for us. So, it was a dream and it is a dream come through that we are being recognized today for having the best performance in the country.  It builds a lot of moral in the institution and it confirms the direction of the institution. And our parents, I believe, over the years have learnt to build confidence in their institution and so we have done so much there and we have accomplished so much. I think that this is now the icing on the cake that our parents can see that now look Independence High School is one of substance and we are among the best of the best in the country and we continue to get better. I also have to underscore the fact that we are  Government institution and sometimes there is the notion that we take all the other students that other schools don’t take, but our ability to take ownership of them and build them to come to this level it is an accomplishment  for us as Government school.”

 

Fredezia took home the first place for the best in CSEC, as well as a scholarship, other certificates and prizes. The second place student is Amanda Graniel of E.P. Yorke and third highest went to Liyan Moralez of Bishop Martin High School in Belmopan. Minister Faber says that year after year the students are performing well in the CSEC exams and G.O.B. is rewarding them for the good grades.

 

Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“If a student would get fifteen passes we would give a special grant of five thousand dollars toward studies wherever they choose and I am happy to report that that has taken off tremendously so much so that we are now reconsidering the bar for next year. I believe in excess of twenty students got over fifteen passes this year and so we want to raise the bar little bit next year to say that those passes need to be at a higher level – a certain number of grade ones and twos in it, as opposed to having grade threes. And we also want to take a closer look at those students who take a lesser number about ten or twelve – they aren’t at fifteen, but they do so well getting ten or eleven grade ones; those students are also students of excellence and so we have considered what we can do to honor them as well.”

 

Josette McGann

The ceremony also recognized the top performing student in the CAPE exams. This year Josette McGann of Saint John’s Junior College did nine units for six subjects in CAPE and she got all grade ones. The Belmopan native, who comes from a family of high academic achievers, is now pursuing studies abroad, but today her proud father collected all her winnings including a two hundred thousand dollar open scholarship.

 

Joseph McGann, Father of Josette McGann

“It was a lot of work and she needed a lot of encouragement as well. There was a time when she didn’t want to do it because she felt that her friends were not doing it and so we had to tell her to overcome the peer-pressure because her friends were telling her ‘oh, you don’t have to do CAPE’ and we said no you gotta do it. So, we gave her the support, extra tuition, all kinds of stuff that she needed. She has always been on top ever since pre-school, primary school, high school and SJC. She was the top student at SJC where she got the highest grade. There were three persons with four point oh, but she had the highest grade. It is not that it is unexpected but there is an element of surprise in it.”

 

Joseph McGann

Andrea Polanco

“I gathered your other children also did well academically?”

 

Joseph McGann

“Yes. That is correct. She had a very high standard to follow and so we had to make sure she didn’t falter along the way, right? Because I have four daughters and three of them were valedictorians in primary school and high school right through so she followed them.”

 

Chairperson of the CXC National Committee in Belize Brenda Armstrong says that the CSEC and CAPE exams have currency beyond the academic walls in Belize, so students should be encouraged to sit the exams.

 

Brenda Armstrong

Brenda Armstrong, Chairperson, CXC National Committee (Belize)

“Once the students are successful in these exams they become eligible then to go on to further study across the world. If you are looking on trying to keep the cost of university education down, it is an excellent way to do it. I believe that the CXC has worked hard and so CSEC and CAPE have currency across the nations of the world.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I’m Andrea Polanco.

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1 Response for “CSEC, CAPE’s Best Honored in the West”

  1. Andre A Lopez says:

    God Bless them all–yes there are issues with the education system, but these dedicated hard working scholars just prove that if you put your nose to the educational grindstone everybody can win in-spite of any issues. André Lopez

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