T&T Tobago students shone at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE), topping several subjects.
The results released by the Caribbean Examinations Council showed that T&T ranked first in the region in 40 subjects in Units One and Two.
Yesterday, one of the many students who excelled in the exams said a passion to pursue medicine helped him to stay focused to achieve his goals.
In Biology Unit One, Erin Quamina of St Joseph Convent, Port-of-Spain, ranked first in that subject, while 18-year-old Arun Ramnarine of Hillview College secured fourth place.
In an interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Ramnarine said when he found out about the results on Friday he was shocked. He said he was not only proud not only of his performance but also that of his schoolmates.
Ramnarine said Hillview College did extremely well in all subject areas in both Unit One, Unit Two and CSEC.
Ramnarine said he had a passion for biology, and wanted to study medicine and eventually branch off into surgery.
Explaining why he has his heart set on medicine, he said the importance of healthcare hit home for him at an early age.
“Ever since I’ve been a little boy it’s all I knew, and I’ve seen my grandfather (Harry Sookhai), he was diagnosed with stage five cancer in 2005 and he was given six months to live, and he survived for six years with the help of doctors. I think that was really an early exposure to it and I have had clinical exposure over the years,” he said.
Grateful to his family for their support, he said they instilled in him the value of hard work.
Ramnarine thanked his teachers for their dedication and commitment and congratulated his schoolmates.
“I am only one part of the grand success that Hillview experienced this year, each student deserves kudos for success,” he said.
He explained that his accomplishment came with a lot of “long nights of studying.” But he added extracurricular activities were also important as they helped him to build the discipline he needed for his academics.
“I think the whole thing about time management relies on the pursuit of your passion, to do something that you really love and the discipline to work towards it no matter how little. Little by little you work towards your goal, no matter how tired you are,” Ramnarine advised.
Meanwhile, in the Spanish Unit One paper, T&T grabbed the top ten spots, with Alicia Dipchan of St Joseph College, San Fernando topping the list.
Posting the Biology Unit One results on his Facebook page on Saturday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley congratulated the students, teachers and parents.
He wrote, “Notwithstanding the acknowledged many challenges, something good is happening in many parts of our education system. As we congratulate these successes, we continue to strive to do even better across the wide spectrum of educational opportunities available to our students, teachers, and parents.”