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Nov 22, 2012

Top CSEC and CAPE students honored

The nation’s brightest minds were recognized today at the annual CSEC and CAPE awards. Proud parents, teachers and peers turned up for one of the most anticipated events on the calendar of the Ministry of Education. Teresa Juana Meza of Stann Creek Ecumenical and Dorien Villafranco from Saint John’s College received kudos for topping the exams at the national level. Duane Moody has a report.


Duane Moody, Reporting

Over two hundred and sixty plus students from across the country gathered inside the Bliss auditorium where they were honored for their outstanding performance in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE). It was the eighteenth annual CXC National Awards Ceremony where students were the recipients in several categories of awards in Excellence, Subject Group Awards and Individual Subject Awards.


Patrick Faber

Patrick Faber, Minister of Education

“All of these students will receive tuition scholarships courtesy of the taxpayers of this country—the government and people of Belize—and that is automatic. They get that because they have done so well and we are pleased to award those students.  These are outstanding students and they give other students who are currently enrolled at the high school and junior college level something to aspire towards because these are indeed excellent passes that they have received.”


Taking the top rank in CSEC with thirteen Grade ones at the General Proficiency and two Grade twos was Juana Teresa Meza of Stann Creek Ecumenical College. Meza says that while she expected to do well, coming out on top was far from her mind.


Juana Teresa Meza

Juana Teresa Meza, Most Outstanding Student, CSEC 2012

“It was shocking news really. I was expecting to do well and pass, but I didn’t know I would be ranked the first student; the top student of the entire country. Preparation; a lot of late night studying. I had to go after all my teachers for extra help, assignments and so on. I just wanna tell other students to challenge themselves; they can do it. Whether they want to do sixteen, seventeen, eighteen; whatever quantity they want, as long as they put the effort they can do it.  Majority of the students are getting awards—not majority, but a lot of them are males—so to know that, I am not sure, but the first student to get the most outstanding award for the entire country makes me feel a little, not cocky, but makes me feel really good.”


Standing in Meza’s shoes last year was Dorien Villafranco. The former student of St. John’s College Junior College, is studying in the United States at Saint Louis University, and today returned as he has once again bested the exams—Most Outstanding Student for CAPE. Villafranco obtained six Grade ones and also achieved first place in Belize for each of the six subjects.


Dorien Villafranco

Dorien Villafranco, Most Outstanding Student, CAPE 2012

“It’s definitely nice to know that taking those exams and it is all really nice to know that it really paid off in the end.  I must say it had a lot to do with my lecturers at SJC. They really prepared us well throughout the entire two years and so the entire program itself was a preparation for these exams and it was simply review at the end; make sure that we were ready to sit the exams at the end of May/June.”


Duane Moody

“id anticipate topping again this year?”


Dorien Villafranco

“I’m not sure, I was a bit skeptical about pre-mathematics, unit two. It was a very challenging exam, but all went well with that and I am just happy that all went well with that and I am happy that that all my hard work paid off in the end.”


Audrey Villafranco

And while both Meza and Villafranco accredit their accomplishments to the dedication as well as support from friends and family, the parents say that they provide the foundations and they need to succeed.


Audrey Villafranco, Mother of Dorien Villafranco

“He is very dedicated and committed to his work, so it wasn’t a big surprise. We know he would have done well, but again to win the open scholarship is always a surprise. So we are quite proud of him.”


Marcelino Villafranco

Marcelino Villafranco, Father of Dorien Villafranco

“We taught him to be disciplined in his work and he held to that and the guidance was there from us and he took it on his own. He was confined basically to his room; worked hard. When he got the top performer for the CSEC awards, we were quite surprised, we weren’t expecting that, but for this one we know that he would have done well.”


And Minister of Education, Patrick Faber says that the Ministry is providing the initiatives to further support those who want to take the exams.


Patrick Faber

“The completion of the secondary education program for teachers there in the Banana Belt area. The Stann Creek District secondary teachers completed that program and we are pleased now to boast ninety-six percent trained teachers at the secondary level there is Stann Creek; that is a major accomplishment for us. We hope that that can now translate into greater successes on the part of the students. And the other is one that we just launched in the north of the country for the Corozal and Orange Walk districts; it is a leadership certification program.”


Both Villafranco and Meza received plaques, scholarships, IPADs and cash. Additionally, all honored students received certificates of excellence. Duane Moody for News Five.

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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3 Responses for “Top CSEC and CAPE students honored”

  1. Rod says:

    The education dept is in shambles under this gov. And faber since he has been minister of edu more and more students are coming out dunce from school less students are passing their exams and now this man wants a promotion what a joke .

  2. Louisville,Ky says:

    Congratulations are certainly in order to the Villafranco family. Undoubtedly Dorien is very Sharp and he has every right to revel in his accomplishments. On the other hand, we must not overlook the enviornment that aided and abetted the growth to his full potential. So we cannot take for granted then, the role his parents played in the development of this youth.
    Now, despite our best efforts, not all of our students will go on to top the nation in external exams and win open scolarships but, I am confident if more fathers play an active part in the education of their sons especially, we would be well on our way in addressing the problems often associated with our young men.
    Maximum respect to Marcelino.

  3. Bear says:

    The high achievers in school are definitely the achievers and leaders of tomorrow. Congratulations to them, and thanks to their teachers and family who helped them on the path to success. We just need more and more of this type of young Belizean to build this beautiful land into its full potential.

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