The top 25 national performers and those of the Belize District were today honored by their peers, families and the Ministry of Education.
It is an annual tradition with all the pomp and circumstance required, and it reminds that among all the bad things in this world there is still something good and innocent.
While Minister of Education Patrick Faber struck a familiar refrain about the need to involve everyone in improving the education system, he took the opportunity to single out the school that molded this year’s top performer Ashton Tillett, Crooked Tree Government School, for what they did right.
According to the Minister, it starts with trained teachers.
“If you doubt what I am saying, we don’t have to look too far. We can see when we are playing our part in education by looking at our today’s top awardee, Mr. Ashton Tillet, who is from Crooked Tree. I ask him to stand. That Mr. Tillet comes from a Crooked Tree Government school, is special in more ways than one. One of the points that came across it was the principal and the Standard VI teachers, with the importance to have trained teachers. The principal boasted with such pride that 8 of her 10 teachers were trained and that they were working on the two other teachers to become trained. What Crooked Tree has done and is doing with respect to ensuring that it has trained teachers is a testament to the push we have been making in the Ministry to have all our teachers trained”.
The Minister also made note of the school and community’s resilience in the face of adversity – storms that crippled village infrastructure and a tragic accident occuring earlier this year. Speaking more generally on the PSE results the Minister stated that all things considered, things have improved slightly, and it is time to look forward.
Hon. Patrick Faber: “Each year, much is made of the PSE results. Questions like these I expect now this year: Are these better than last year, and if not better, what is the Ministry going to do about it? The truth is that improving the quality of education as reflection to examination performance is a long game; it will not happen overnight. Furthermore, there will be slight fluctuations annually. Indeed what we have seen in our fluctuations annually up and down, but if you look over the 10 year; indeed over the 12 year trained, you will know a very slightly upward trend attesting to the fact that improvement is a very long game that requires sustained attention.
Top performer Tillett paid tribute to those he said helped in his success.
“I would like to first and foremost thank God for He is never failing favour upon all of us and especially me, helping me to be a top PSE performer. This amazing accomplishment has strengthened me spiritually, emotionally and physically. Towards my school years, I have devoted myself to studying, which was accompanied with the help of my dedicated teachers, God, my family and other distinguished supporters. I studied hard, listened to my teachers, and set my goal for excellence. But did not know that I would be a top scorer for the PSE. This is a great accomplishment which I am proud of. For me, this is just the beginning. I know that here will be new faces, new challenges and new mountains. I pledge that I will always keep on climbing to achieve even higher in the future; I encourage my fellow graduates to do the same because then, we will create a better future for ourselves and for our community. In closing, I want to thank all of those who have donated generously to me and to Crooked Tree Government School. Thank you”.
The top performers received various gifts including partial scholarships to the schools of their choice. Separate regional ceremonies will take place on Thursday in the West, North and South of the country.