Pres, St Joseph’s students win President’s Medals
By SEAN DOUGLAS Friday, September 13 2013
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Science Guy: Abhinav Karan, of Presentation College, Chaguanas, has won the President's Medal for Maths, Science, Environmental Science and Technology...
ABHINAV Karan of Presentation College, Chaguanas, and Shelimiah Peterkin of St Joseph’s Convent, are this year’s President’s Medal winners at CAPE level, announced yesterday by Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar, at a laptop distribution ceremony at St James Secondary School.
Karan topped the field of Maths, Science, Environmental Science and Technology, while Peterkin headed the field of Business, Languages and Modern Studies.
Karan was congratulated by many of his friends on Twitter last night. One friend, Sudesh told him he knew that Karan could have done it. Another friend, Liliana said, “Told you, you were gonna get it!” Another told him, “Congratulations Abhinav, keep breaking those barriers. Proud to be Pres!”
Although Peterkin was named a winner from St Joseph’s Convent, it was not disclosed which of the three schools in Port-of-Spain, St Joseph and San Fernando she attended.
Persad-Bissessar urged all present to applaud the duo, even as she effused that Government-run secondary schools are also producing scholarship winners. “Schools are doing so well that I’m very proud to announce that we’ve increased the number of scholarships coming out of the CAPE/Cambridge exam.”
She said during her tenure the number of scholarships has grown from 256 awards in 2009; 329 awards in 2010; 354 awards in 2011; to 376 awards in 2012, with 428 to be awarded this year.
Reminding students that education was the passport out of poverty, the Prime Minister said she does not just talk the talk, but walks the walk to help students.
Persad-Bissessar said students entering secondary school have been given 68,850 free laptops by the Government since the scheme was introduced in 2010, with 4,000 laptops given to teachers.
Recently she had said 21,000 laptops will be given to students this year.
Scoffing at critics who had said laptops would be a waste of money and would not help students, she said the first year laptops were introduced, TT had risen by 16 percent in a global index of nations.
Referring to earlier speeches by two students, a parent and a teacher of St James Secondary School, she said these testimonials had answered yesteryear’s critics.
“The parents say that this is a programme which allows them and their children to grow in an intellectual capacity and interact on international standards as our counterparts across the globe,” said Persad-Bissessar.
“The students say they are provided with a wide array of information at their fingertips, that information for projects are easier to access with this device, that the laptop has proven to be an essential tool in their learning, which has significantly improved their lives,” she added. “And the teachers have testified of the benefits to the children as well as their own benefits as well.”
Saying that the world and its economy have changed by becoming more interconnected by the Internet, she said, “I knew that the only way to ensure that our citizens keep up and ensure they were globally competitive and relevant in this new age, was to be on par with these amazing technological advancements”.
Laptops could lift the education and status of citizens.