President Ramkalawan honours high achievers |14 April 2023
Fifty-eight (58) students who did extremely well in their IGCSE and A-Level exams last year have been honoured by President Wavel Ramkalawan.
A ceremony was hosted for them yesterday at State House in recognition of their achievements and where President Ramkalawan presented each one of the high achievers, both from public and private secondary and post-secondary institutions across the country, with a Seychelles pin flag.
Present were the Minister for Education, Dr Justin Valentin; the principal secretary for Educational Services, Merna Eulentin; the principal secretary for Education Sector Development, John Lesperance; other senior officials from the ministry and teachers.
The ceremony, which will become an annual event, is the second to be hosted by the high office to recognise IGCSE and A-Level high achievers who will continue with their studies at post-secondary institutions and universities.
Congratulating the students on their hard work, President Ramkalawan urged them and all other students across the country to continue to take advantage of all opportunities at their disposal to succeed in their education given that the country has specific needs, in terms of economists, lawyers, and teachers among others, for its future development.
“I feel proud that every year we can increase the number of students coming here for this humble but very important ceremony,” said President Ramkalawan, who noted that the country is proud of them and is also counting on them as future leaders.
He stated that the country looks after the education of not only Seychellois students but anybody that passes through the system.
He called on students to stay focused in their studies to achieve their goals and visions and to also encourage other colleagues to persevere in their studies to achieve the best results possible.
“I am also very happy that we no longer make a difference between private and public schools. We recognise the person, we recognise the achievement and whether you went to private school or to public school, it’s what you made out of your studies that matters to us. And so, we will continue to push in that direction,” said the president who noted that government will continue to encourage our students to do better amid challenges.
He also thanked the parents who accompany their children on their education journeys and call on others who are absent in that respect to do so as it will make their children feel stronger.
He also thanked the teachers for their hard work in shaping the young adults. He stated that the country will continue to support them both (teachers and students).
On her part, PS Eulentin congratulate the high achievers on their outstanding results, saying it symbolises the immense pride they have to educate themselves.
She advised them to, amid the challenges they will face, think of the bigger picture by staying focused, to keep moving forward and to ignore the noise.
She noted that given the challenges that the ministry is also facing, they do remain highly committed in providing the resources and creating the necessary conditions for students to produce better results in their international exams.
She added that the ministry needs the collaborative effort of everyone to improve education in the country.
“This is why it is important for parents, teachers, stakeholders, the Ministry of Education and everyone else across the country, to continue to work together to give our children the best possible deal like our minister keeps saying,” said PS Eulentin, who thanked the teachers for their patience and hard work and the parents for accompanying their children on their education journeys.
On behalf of the students, Andrea Louise from the School of Advanced Level Studies (Sals), thanked everyone who played a role in their achievements.
She advised all students across the country to stay disciplined, work hard and to be consistent in their studies if they want to succeed.
“You cannot succeed without working hard. Learn to make better choices, to have a vision and a goal in life and do the very best to achieve,” she said.
Former Independent School A-Level student, Turissa Sullivan, said that the initiative for the high achievers to meet with the president is a good one as it motivates students to do better. She will be going to the London School of Economics and Political Science, England, to study accounting and finance. She scored A*s in Accounting, Economics, Maths and Business Studies.
Going on further studies at Sals, Vaidik Gondariya from Anse Boileau secondary said he felt proud to have met with the President and to receive a reward from him.
He added that his achievement is a clear result of his hard work and sacrifices which have paid off.
He scored A*s in Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geography, English and ICT, and an A for Mathematics. He said he will work hard at A-Level to earn the highest results as he wishes to go on to university to study bio-chemistry.
Text & photos by Patrick Joubert