QC attains a milestone
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Principal of Queen’s College, Jackie Ralph
Principal of Queen’s College, Jackie Ralph

-students are top regional performers at CSEC and CAPE

GUYANA’S premier secondary school, Queen’s College, is well known for consistently producing top performers at the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) and Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) assessments.
However, the year 2020 marked a milestone for the school when for the first time, it secured regional top performers at both exams, in the same year.
This is according to the school’s principal, Jackie Ralph, who shared that the accomplishment is a dream come true for the institution, which has already “done it all.”
“We would’ve either gotten CAPE or CSEC [individually] but we would’ve never been able to do both in the same year. As a school it is the first time in the history of the college that we would’ve been able to accomplish both the CAPE and the CSEC [top student],” Ralph shared.

Principal of Queen’s College, Jackie Ralph

It was on Friday that it was officially announced by the Ministry of Education (MoE) that QC’s Bhedesh Persaud was Guyana’s top student for CSEC with 22 Grade Ones and one Grade Two, while Upper Six student Zane Ramotar attained 14 Grade Ones and one Grade Two to be named Guyana’s top performer at the CAPE for 2020.
But outside of nationally, Persaud and Ramotar are also the top performers in the Caribbean for CSEC and CAPE, respectively, a first for the school.
This will not be the first year that Guyana won the top spot for CSEC and CAPE at the Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) regional awards. Rather, it is the second consecutive year that this has happened. For 2019, Riana Toney won for CSEC, and Michael Bhopaul won for CAPE.
For QC, this 2020 accomplishment adds to the long list of regional academic accolades that the institution already boasts.
“We’ve done it all already. We captured the science prizes, humanities, the technical, the mathematics [prizes]. We would’ve captured all of those subject areas, and we would’ve captured CSEC and CAPE singly, but we always wanted to bring home the double to the college. We knew that we had our students who were capable of helping us to realising that goal,” the headteacher related.

Top CAPE performer Zane Ramotar

Ralph shared that the achievement is all the more poignant for her as it was also a personal goal that she wanted to achieve under her tenure. She said it came just in time as she will not be with the school for much longer.
“I am retiring this year and this was my vision before I left; to bring home to the college the top [regional] awards for both CSEC and CAPE. Every year we set the goals for the institution and this was one of the major goals,” she happily shared. Ralph lauded Persaud and Ramotar for making their school proud, and also praised the staff of the school that supported the students in their academic aspirations. “I wish to congratulate Bhedesh as well as Zane, we know they would’ve worked extremely hard with their teachers. We know that they would’ve achieved these awards based on their capability,” she expressed. She added: “Along the way we supported their initiatives, and many teachers would’ve worked beyond the call of duty. I must commend those teachers who helped to bring this to the college.” The accomplishment did not come as a surprise to Ralph, who shared that the school had been striving towards capturing both regional awards based on a structured programme that had been monitoring the progress of Persaud and Ramotar throughout their years at the school.

“I am extremely excited, but I know for a fact that this was expected. This is something that we planned for since 2019. We would’ve chronicled the students’ performances over the last five and seven years, so we know for a fact that they were capable of earning the top positions in the Caribbean in the respective fields, CSEC as well as CAPE,” Ralph said.
Knowing the school was looking forward to copping both top spots made it all the more agonizing when all was not right with initial grades issued, when CXC had released preliminary results in September, 2020. In 2020, CXC had faced major backlash over what many students said were lower than expected grades.
The regional body subsequently received an unprecedented number of review requests, with Guyana receiving at least 6700 grade changes for CSEC and 456 changes for CAPE. Due to the long wait for completion of the reviews, it took seven months before the top students were named for Guyana, and the Caribbean.
“The only thing that we are sorry [for] is that we had to wait so long, and the agony of knowing you had earned the top they withheld from you. We are extremely happy that the students would have] received the results that they would’ve earned,” Ralph added.

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