OF the 100 pupils who were awarded scholarships for the 2022 Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE), over 70 per cent were girls.
Principal of the all-boys’ school Presentation College, Chaguanas, which copped 11 of the scholarships and the second-highest, believes it had to do with the way girls study.
Principal Mylene Seemungal told the Express, “I think that the girls are very unique in that they are very much more conscientious than boys about doing well and excelling. I give classes and I have been teaching for 36 years, girls are what we refer to as plodders, they don’t give up, they are consistent they are always studying.”
She said boys, however, tend to study coming closer to the exam. “They don’t study consistently throughout. Most of our boys, I have noticed, at the end hour they pick up their books and then they start to work and I figure that is something that makes a difference to how the boys perform.”
She however said that the pupils at Presentation College have been doing well for several years.
They have copped the President’s Medal six times, more than any other school, and for 2022 CAPE scholarship, they were awarded six more scholarships than 2021.
She attributed this to the hard work of the pupils, teachers, parents and the support of the administrative and ancillary staff, Parent-Teacher Association Body (PTAB), the alumni and non-governmental organisations. She was also in high praise of past principal Brian Seemungal.
Mylene Seemungal, who from acting vice principal, became the principal back in May 2021, said that the 2022 CAPE scholarships —four Open and seven Additional—were awarded from work done during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Seemungal said in that time of crisis everyone stepped up to ensure that the children were taught with as little as possible negative impact from the pandemic. “We were able to surmount all of our problems and that is reflected in what you are seeing in terms of the results that were very, very astounding.”
Seemungal said the teachers learnt to use devices for teaching and were on-line every time for classes. “The PTAB got devices, we were able to get internet connectivity for the entire school, those kinds of problems we didn’t have because of the support system that we have as a family in Presentation College, Chaguanas.”
And speaking about family, Seemungal pointed out that she and the former principal have been married for the past 36 years. She believed their union would have also contributed to the CAPE results. “I will have to say that we worked as a team and we understood everyone so very well…It may have been a good thing because look at the result.”
While Presentation College, Chaguanas, had gotten scholarships in mathematics, environmental studies and natural science in the past and for 2022, it was the first time they had gotten in the areas of information and communication technology studies and business studies. Seemungal said this was welcomed.
She is optimistic about the future as she told the Express, “Next year we have another group of students and we’re feeling certain they will also do very well.”
The school was also able to do several repairs of its washrooms, fence and sporting areas and was repainted during the pandemic.