The Top 20 students in this year’s Barbados Secondary School Entrance Exam, better known as the Common Entrance, were rewarded last evening for their exceptional performances.
Diamonds International, in association with Mont Blanc, held their annual awards ceremony for the top students, gifting each student with an exclusive writing instrument at the Limegrove Lifestyle Center.
In his brief address to parents and students gathered, Senator Harcourt Husbands paid tribute to the late Barbadian writer Tom Clarke by reading from his book Growing Up Stupid Under The Union Jack, which made reference to when Clarke sat the exam in the 1940’s.
Husbands noted that Clarke essentially started his writing career by writing letters to his aunt overseas after he had completed the exam, placing 28th in the island.
The education official told the attentive audience that nobody knew, not even Clarke himself, that he would become such an acclaimed writer. He therefore told the students that they should aspire to be and to do great things.
Husbands encouraged the young scholars to use the writing instruments given to them, as Clarke did, to chronicle the future of this country and by extension the world.
He implored the students gathered to “appreciate the value and sacrifices that led them to this point” and to keep on that positive path because “they are the on the verge of greatness”.
Extremely proud and excited parents filled the mall with loud applause as the children collected their exquisite Mont Blanc writing instruments from Managing Director of Diamonds International Jacob Hassid.
The children’s faces beamed with happiness as they took the opportunity to shake hands and take pictures with Hassid and Husbands.
Special mention was made of the nine-year-old Jayden Greenidge who sat the exam two years early and will be attending Harrison College in September.
Khalil Vanderpool-Nurse, Marshawna Greenidge, Tiana Belle and Xiamara Woodroffe were the only four awardees from Government-run primary schools.