June 14, 2021
As students sit the 2021 national examinations, Evelyn Sawyer, assistant director in the Ministry of Education’s education, examination and assessment division, reflected on the success achieved in the 2020 national examinations, which she said could not have been achieved without the extraordinary strength of character of the students who opted to take the examinations.
Sawyer said they celebrate students like Kamori Cori Sawyer, of Queen’s College, who achieved 13 A grades in the Bahamas General Certificate of Secondary Education (BGCSE) examinations; Perrell Cooper, of Windermere High, who achieved six A grades, one B and one C; and Rashad Tobias Rolle, of Bishop Michael Eldon School, who achieved seven A grades and one B grade.
As well as Cherkadin Wells, of Queen’s College, who achieved 12 A grades in the Bahamas Junior Certificate (BJC) examinations; Alexandria Culmer, of Central Eleuthera High School, who achieved eight A grades and two B grades; and Hope Knowles, of NGM Major High School, who achieved five A grades and five B grades.
“When we consider the resilience of the children – those who actually turned up to write the exam, they can only be better for it. They put whatever behind and moved on. That group of students is going to make it,” said Sawyer.
“The parents who insisted that their children write the exams … it’s a testimony to them, too. There were some teachers who went over and beyond; they enforced the coursework. Some really had a vested interest in the children.”
Sawyer said at the education ministry, they celebrate the “spirit” of the people who were behind the students – school administrators, teachers, parents, other relatives and community leaders, as she reflected on the 2020 examinations and recognized the successful achievements of public and private school students, their teachers and parents.
In 2020, to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country, the MOE temporarily suspended national examinations, leaving a period of uncertainty over whether national examinations would resume. With marking centers shutting down because of exposure to COVID-19, fears associated with the infectious disease, anxiety and discouragement, Sawyer described the period as “very challenging”. She said the decision to administer the exam was the best decision that could have been made.
“This was hard fought. There was back and forth. We had to try to proceed with the administration of the exams. If we failed in our trying, at least we were satisfied that we tried. The mere fact that we were able to administer the exam and get through despite COVID-19 itself was a major accomplishment.
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