— Education Ministry acknowledges mix-up
WITH nine grade ones and two grade twos, St Rose’s High student, Shanomae Milling, of North Sophia was on Thursday officially announced as Guyana’s top performer at this year’s Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE).
She was not named as the top student when the results were originally announced on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Education (MoE) on Thursday issued an apology after it was discovered that Milling was completely left off of the list of 2019 top CAPE performers. Queen’s College students Michael Bhopaul and Leonardo Gobin, both with eight grade one passes were initially named as the top students.
“The Ministry of Education wishes to announce that the 2019 top student for the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) in Guyana is Shanomae Milling of St. Rose’s High School who wrote 11 units and achieved nine grade ones and two grade twos. The Ministry of Education congratulates Ms. Milling on her outstanding achievement. We do apologise for the anomaly regarding the top position. However, this should not distract from the excellent and historical performance by our students this year at both the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and CAPE assessments,” a statement from the ministry said.
Though heartbroken when her name was not mentioned on Wednesday, by Thursday morning, Milling was happy when she got the honour she deserved.
“I think that they handled it in a good way. They apologised and clarified the issue so I’m thankful for that,” Milling said.
Another student of St Rose’s High Jerron Jarvis, is also contending that he was omitted from the list of the top 15 performers in the country, which contained students who attained up to six grade one passes. According to his results, Jarvis has six grade ones, three grade twos and a grade four.
“It seems like they completely forgot about St Rose’s, they just ignored us. The fact that students that did less made the list and I didn’t, I felt bad, I felt disrespected. But it’s not really a big deal for me,” the 19-year-old noted. He is unsure if he will be making an official report about the issue.
Though the MoE announced the results on Wednesday, CAPE students have been able to access their results via an online portal since Tuesday.
Through checking her results, Milling had known since then that she had attained nine ones and two twos, and expected that it would put her at the top of the country’s list, so it was with an eager excitement that she awaited her name on Wednesday as Education Minister, Nicolette Henry, was announcing the results.
But when it was all said and done, her name was nowhere to be heard or seen.
“Everyone was just looking at the live stream to hear my name and I felt a little disappointed. I felt sad that it wasn’t called. At first I was at a loss for words, I was looking at my computer screen; I was shocked because I expected it to be heard. My family, my friends, my teachers they were all waiting,” Milling recalled.
The 18-year-old was left heartbroken and pondered what could possibly have happened to have her name left off the list of top performing students.
“When I got home, she greeted me with tears,” said Milling’s aunt, Lizzani Brown, with whom Milling lives.
“I said what happened? She said: ‘look, look what going on here, the two top students have eight grade ones, and they have a top 10 list and my name is not on the list’. So I said don’t cry we will look after that tomorrow.”
Milling questioned if perhaps the mix up was with her results.
“I had to check it over, I count the ones again, I just checked it over and over,” she recalled. She related the situation to one of her fellow students who had made the list, and encouraged her to have it rectified.
“I messaged Diego [Bennett], I sent him my results and I said I was just going to let it go because I’m a calm person, but he said ‘no you can’t do that honour should be given where honour is due’. After that I called up my aunt and my teachers and they advised me to go to the MoE and clarify and that’s when I went [Thursday] morning.”
An Upper Six Form student, Milling attained grade ones in Physics Units one and two; Applied Mathematics Unit one; Pure Mathematics Unit one; Chemistry, Biology and Physical Education and Sports, all in Unit two; Environmental Science Unit one; Caribbean Studies Unit one; she got a grade two in Communication Studies and Applied Mathematics Unit two.
Milling said when she first learned of her results, she was surprised.
“To be honest, some of those exams were really tough, I was looking in the sky for answers, so I thought that I did horrible, and when I opened and I saw my results I was just relieved, particularly at chemistry. Just seeing all the grade ones there, I was just so relieved I did so well and this whole year didn’t just go to waste,” Milling said.
Milling’s aunt and mother, Drusilla Wilson, were, however, not surprised by the results.
“I must say I am overwhelmed. My daughter, she made me proud, she made me a very proud mom,” expressed Wilson
She added: “I know she had the potential because of the passes before, at CAPE last year, she topped her school, and at CSEC she topped her school; so I know she always had the potential. Since at five, I started with her. After she went to live with my sister, she continued.”
Milling is an aspiring doctor. Her 11 passes add to the passes in seven other units that she already wrote last year, passing with three ones and four twos. She now plans to take a year off studying to travel and volunteer at her alma mater before she begins pursuing studies in medicine at the University of Guyana from next year.