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Aljay earns Prime Minister’s award for 2009

Aljay earns Prime Minister’s award for 2009

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Aljay Massiah is determined that St. Vincent and the Grenadines will not lag behind while the rest of the world moves up the ladder.{{more}}

Further, he sees himself as being one of the leading players in moving St. Vincent and the Grenadines towards scientific innovation and development, and asks: “If I don’t do it, then who will?”

He is, therefore, moving ahead resolutely with his studies leading to a degree in Electronic Engineering at the University of Southampton, and on completion of his education, plans to bring back “foreign experience, technology and significant skills back to St. Vincent where they would be available to others.”

Massiah is the 2009 winner of the Prime Minister’s award for being the most outstanding performer in the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examinations (CAPE) and the Cambridge International General Certificate of Education A’level examinations.

The announcement was made on Tuesday by the Minister of Education Girlyn Miguel at a press conference held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Conference room.

In an online interview with Searchlight on Wednesday, Aljay admitted to being a bit “indifferent” about receiving the award, a reaction he put down to several factors including being “temporarily numbed” by the cold weather in the United Kingdom, “the sheer amount of academic work” that he has suddenly been burdened with, or because he had become accustomed to telling himself over the past two years that earning a national scholarship is “a mandatory achievement”.

Eighteen-year-old Aljay, is however, quite modest about his achievements. “I have no intentions of fooling myself into thinking I am at the top, or I have reached my optimum. Truth be told, I still have a lot to learn about hard work and dedication,” he admitted.

In his examinations earlier this year, Aljay, the son of Anthony and Jacqueline Massiah of Campden Park, successfully sat Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Mathematics and Communication Studies. He achieved two grade Bs, two grade 1s and a grade 2, respectively. He is his parents’ second son to have won a national scholarship. Big brother Marcus won an award in 2003.

He sees the Prime Minister’s award and the national scholarships as “perhaps the most effective means of encouraging students to push themselves to new limits,” and intends to take full advantage of the award in that manner.

Describing the University of Southampton as being “highly competitive”, and having one of the most highly rated departments of Electronics and Computer Science in the United Kingdom, Aljay said, in comparison with the other students’ entry grades, he is just “average”. He is not daunted, however, as he recognizes that university education is new to all his classmates and the playing field is level once more.

In addition to the five-year full academic scholarship awarded to all national scholars, the winner of the Prime Minister’s award receives a medal and a cash award. Last year’s awardee Jason Haynes received $10,000, an increase of $5,000 over what had been awarded in previous years.

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