By Landing Ceesay
The West African Examination Council (WAEC) has awarded the ‘best performing’ students in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE), and Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examination (GABECE).
The ceremony is part of WAEC’s annual National trophy for the best 3 performing students of WASSCE and GABECE in The Gambia.
The presentation covered West African Senior School Certificate Examinationsand Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examinations in 2020 and 2021.
For the 2020 WASSCE, Jim Janneh of Nusrat Senior Secondary, who scored 9 credits including 7A1s was awarded the most outstanding student and went home with D20, 000.00 cash prize.
The second position is Sulayman Sowe, also from Nusrat Senior Secondary School, who scored 9 credits including 6A1s and went home with D17, 000.00 cash prize.
While Samba Touray, another Nusrat Senior Secondary School student scored 9 credits including 6A1s came third and went home with D15, 000.00 cash prize.
For the GABECE 2020, Saikou Darboe of St. Therese’s Upper Basic School who scored Aggregate 6, including A1s in all his subjects was awarded the most outstanding student and went home with a D15, 000.00 cash prize.
Ebrima Jallow of St. Charles Lwanga who scored aggregate 6, including 9A1s emerged second and went home with a D12, 000.00 cash prize.
And Sainabou Sibi of St. Therese’s Upper Basic School came third with aggregate 6 including 9A1s and went home with a D10, 000.00 cash prize.
For GABECE 2021, Suwadou Jammeh of Methodist Academy who scored aggregate 6 including 8A1 got the most outstanding student and went home with a D15, 000.00 cash prize.
Salieu Njie of St. Therese’s Upper Basic School who scored aggregate 6 including 9A1s came second position and went home with a D12, 000.00 cash prize.
Musa Tamba of St. Peters Technical Junior and Senior School who scored aggregate 6 including 8A1s, came third position and went with a D10, 000.00 cash prize.
Claudiana A. Cole, Minister of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) congratulated the awardees and their schools for winning the prizes; and the achievements are not ‘mysterious’.
“Over the years, we have seen the government’s demonstration of its commitment to ensuring quality in our education sector. Consequently, we have witnessed increased support in infrastructure and funding through our partnership with development partners.
“This has led to a significant increase in the number of classroom blocks added to the Upper and Senior Secondary Schools throughout the country. The increases in funding and recognition of the sector all in improving conducive teaching and learning environments, thus contributing to quality education,” Minister Cole said.
Pa Samba Baldeh, Head of WAEC National Office in Banjul said the criteria for the award may be stringent, but they are not beyond the reach of their students.
He said the academic records of the winners show that they have been high flyers throughout their academic careers; thus, serving as a validation of the Council’s examinations.
“They also achieved their grades without the slightest hint of examination malpractice, again proving that the Council’s examinations are passable at the highest level without any impropriety.” Mr. Baldeh said.
Meanwhile, Moses Mendy, Chairman, Board of Directors of WAEC, said the reason 2021 WASSCE students are not awarded is because the criteria have been aligned with the International criteria, where students must have sat in at least eight subjects including English language and Mathematics and obtained grades A1 in all eight subjects for Excellence Award or A1 in seven subjects and a grade of B2 in English Language for distinction award.
“Going by those criteria, there were no winners at WASSCE level in 2021,” Mendy informed the gathering.
The ceremony took place on Monday at WAEC head office in Banjul.