August 19, 2011
Mbeki Swift leads the way for Grammar School

by Peter Marshall Fri, Aug 19. 2011

The students of St Vincent Boys’ Grammar School have returned sterling results from the recently taken Caribbean Examinations Council (CXC) Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) exams.{{more}}

Leading the pack with 12 subjects was the ever achieving Mbeki Swift, who sat down with SEARCHLIGHT for an interview last Wednesday, August 17. He hauled in 11 Ones and a Two, gaining eight distinctions in the process. Attributing his success to Yahweh, God, he was thankful to the Almighty for giving him the necessary skills to prepare. The young man was pensive as he noted that it was because of God’s knowledge that he was able to perform. He summed up his study preparations with four words “prayer, Bible, books” and he after a pause added somewhat sheepishly, “relaxation”.

Though clearly happy, he was not at all surprised with his excellent results as he “did not expect anything less”. When quizzed about his future plans, he revealed that he will be pursuing studies at the St. Vincent Community College, Division of Arts and Sciences, doing courses in Mathematics, Geography, Biology and Physics.

Mbeki is no stranger to success, having placed first for boys and second overall when he sat the Common Entrance Examination. He lives in Freeland, in the constituency of Marriaqua with his parents, Trevor Swift and Janine Bentick, a brother and a sister. He hopes to make a living in the field of engineering.

Mbeki’s excellent results are followed closely by those of Shane Burgin. Burgin amassed 11 subjects, gaining a grade one for each; 8 of those ones being distinctions. Son to Judith Burgin and Kenville Quashie, he was the best business student from the Grammar School and reportedly, the first male student to receive a distinction in Food and Nutrition.

Though currently abroad on vacation, he is ably described by his mother as a “consistent worker ever since primary school and into secondary school”. Additionally, he remarkably seemed to have been able to predict his results. His mother related that “everyday after each exam he would come home and say ‘Mommy, I got a one today’”. These bold pronouncements all proved correct.

Following closely on his heels with 11 Subjects of his own was Raheem Hall. Hall, also abroad on vacation, achieved a total of 10 grade ones, and one grade two, with 6 distinctions. Described as a quiet individual, and strong believer in God, he hopes to pursue studies in Math, Physics, Chemistry and Geography and realise his goals of being a Civil Engineer. He lives in Green Hill with his father Alexis James who works at the Ministry of Agriculture and his mother Mobet James, a teacher at the Lodge Village Government School.

Joining Mbeki at SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday was Taj Lee. Lee gained 12 subjects also, with seven ones, all of which were distinctions. Son to Anthony and Carmel Lee of Ottley Hall, the spirited young man admitted that he was not too pleased with his results as he had expected better, but is looking forward to going to Community College. There, he will continue his business aspirations and take courses in Accounts, Economics, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Great results also came from Cornelius Neptune who also reeled in a 12 subjects; 8 of which were ones and the remainder twos. Ohnta Creese also excelled with nine subjects and 8 ones. Efforts to contact these two students were regrettably futile up to press time.

Headmaster of the school and veteran educator, Frank Jones, was understandably pleased with his school’s collective performance and those of his outstanding individual students. He revealed that since the inception of the CXC examinations, this year has been “the best the school has ever done”.

Jones lauded the the Grammar School for obtaining an overall pass rate of 90 per cent this year, which is even keel with that of last year. 100 per cent pass rates were recorded for Food and Nutrition, Information Technology, Integrated Science, Music, Social Studies, Technical Drawing, Electronic Document Preparation and Management and Physical Education.

98 per cent of the students who took the English A examination passed along with 95 per cent of those who took English B.

Subjects with a pass rates of over 95 also included Geography, Physics, Principles of Accounts, Principles of Business and Chemistry.

Math, however, in comparison, continues to be a sore point as 72 per cent of students who took that exam passed.

Focussing on the positives, however, Jones attributes this year’s success to a greater dedication by his staff and a renewed drive from the students who are becoming increasingly cognisant of the competition in the working world.

In an effort to further improve on these results, Jones plans to curb the last minute preparations which he feels curb the students full potential.

He took time out to celebrate with his top performers Swift, Burgin, Hall, Creese, Lee and Neptune. Their results are not surprising, as they have been working all their school lives. They are thus richly and deservedly rewarded, Jones said.