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Jun 20, 2012

P.S.E.’s top students get well-deserved awards

The National P.S.E. award ceremony was held this morning at the Princess Hotel in Belize City. Teachers, students and proud parents gathered to recognize the achievements of the top students in this year’s exams. Of the six thousand nine hundred and eighty-three who sat the exams back on March twenty-sixth and May seventh, twenty-five were singled out for topping the scores. As a stimulus, they all received high school scholarships. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.


Delahnie Bain, Reporting

The students who earned the top twenty-five scores in this year’s Primary School examination were rewarded for their hard work today. Tied for first place were Rhiki Alegria of Hummingbird Elementary and Jasmine Betancourt of Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning; they both received a score of three hundred and eighty-nine out of a possible four hundred.


Rhiki Alegria

Rhiki Alegria, P.S.E. Top Performer

“Waiting for the results was stressful, but I was excited when I realized how well I really did. The first people I told were, of course, my family and they were more than delighted to hear the pleasant news. We celebrated and I realized my success was truly a reality. Honestly, coming in first was a pleasant surprise and a feat that I thought was possible but never did expect.”


Jasmine Betancourt

Jasmine Betancourt, P.S.E. Top Performer

“I am not only proud to be the top student in P.S.E., but I am proud that my school is number one in the country and that all my classmates received A’s on their examination. It confirms to me that all of our hard work and team spirit really paid off.”


Alegria and Betancourt are also the recipients of the 2012 Jane and Michael Nembhard Award for Excellence, which includes a laptop computer and financial aid for high school.


Nadine Nembhard, Granddaughter of Michael and Jane Nembhard

Nadine Nembhard

“My late grandparents, Michael and Jane Nembhard in whose honor an award is presented to the top performer in the primary school examination. I congratulate Rhiki Alegria of Hummingbird Elementary and Jasmine Betancourt of Bernice York Institute of Learning for receiving the Jane and Michael Nembhard award this year.”


While the students celebrate their overall success, Minister of Education Patrick Faber looked at the statistics, which have been slowly improving over the years.


Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“In science, for instance, eighty-five percent of students earned a satisfactory level of performance or better this year. This is the highest that it has ever been; at least in the last seven years and furthermore, in every year since 2006, this is the highest grade. When only about thirty-five percent of our students earned at least a grade C, the proportion of students earning at least a grade C has been fifty percent. Similarly in Social Studies, the proportion of students earning a satisfactory level of performances Grade C or better is at seventy-five percent this year.”


Patrick Faber

The scores for Math and English went up, but there is still room for further improvement in those subject areas.


Patrick Faber

“In Math, forty-one percent of the students achieved a satisfactory level of performance, the highest it has been in seven years. Furthermore there has been a steady increase with some fluctuations in the proportion of students achieving a satisfactory level of performance in math since 2006 when only about twenty-four percent did so. In English this year, the proportion of students achieving at least a satisfactory level is fifty-five percent.”


Both top students say that strong support from their families was key to their success. Alegria grabbed the attention of the audience when he weighed in on current state of the society and how their achievements can be a motivation for change.


Rhiki Alegria

“It is at this point that I will reflect on the direction that Belize is heading. We are no longer a tranquil haven of democracy, but are filled with criminal activity. These tend to overshadow the greatness that are happening all around us. However, this group of students here has the opportunity to make a difference, to show Belize that there is a brighter, smarter future; to do the things that are right and to motivate others to want to excel.”


Jasmine Betancourt

“The foundation which was instilled in me has made me accustomed to doing homework first and then the all important time to relax and have fun. They were very supportive, as were those around me. That support then turned into self confidence within me which encouraged me to excel in my work to make them proud. In the beginning of my standard six year, my teacher pointed out to us, to be able to succeed as a class, we all needed to work with each other. Another element that was key to my success was having God in my life and in my parents’ life as well.”


After the presentation of certificates of recognition, Minister Faber also made an unexpected, but welcomed announcement that all top twenty-five students will be receiving full scholarships for high school, instead of the usual book grants. Delahnie Bain for News Five.


Regional award ceremonies will be held in Corozal, Stann Creek and Cayo next week. 

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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2 Responses for “P.S.E.’s top students get well-deserved awards”

  1. ner says:

    From your Aunt in NY, I’m so proud of you Jasmine!

  2. ner says:

    From your Aunt in NY, I’m so proud of you Jasmine!

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