Saluting the Nation Builders of Tomorrow |
Gala award ceremony for O and A level achievers
At a colourful ceremony and amid loud cheers of about 4,000 students and their parents, The Daily Star yesterday honoured 456 outstanding achievers in the O-level and A-level examinations of June 2002-June 2003 sessions.
The grand ceremony -- "Saluting the Nation Builders of Tomorrow" -- was attended by former chief adviser of the caretaker government Justice Habibur Rahman as the chief guest and British High Commissioner Dr David Carter as the special guest.
Held at Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium in Mirpur, the function was co-sponsored by Pacific Bangladesh Telecom Limited (PBTL), the service provider of CityCell Digital, Citibank N.A. and Mobil Jamuna Lubricant.
In the gallery that accommodates around 5,000 people, the children burst into cheery applause with announcement of the name of each awardee. Colourful banners blazing the names of 35 English medium schools from Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet and logos surrounded the gallery. A choir formed by students sang at intervals to animate the award-giving ceremony.
The Daily Star awarded "Certificate of Excellence" with medals to all students who secured more than six As in two consecutive sittings in the O-level and a minimum of three As in the A-level examinations in an academic year.
The chief guest handed the certificates and medals over to the achievers who sat for the O- and A-level examinations under Cambridge University and the University of London.
Yesterday's event was the fifth by The Daily Star that has been awarding achievers of the outstanding results in O- and A-level exams in Bangladesh since 1999. The function was presided over by The Daily Star Editor and Publisher Mahfuz Anam.
Justice Habibur Rahman called upon the achievers to enlighten themselves with education and not to pursue education only as a means of passing examinations.
He advised them to uphold the standards of education, values and norms of the nation and not to alienate themselves from tradition and roots.
"I am very happy to find that you are closer to the mainstream despite having education in different schooling," Rahman told the students referring to their performance of dance and Bangla songs reflecting the culture of the nation.
He underscored acquisition of knowledge and said students have to learn many things as education helps change -- for the better -- personal and social values and the nation as a whole.
The former chief justice called upon the young talents to work for the nation as it expects much from them.
The British high commissioner, David Carter, appreciated Bangladeshi students for their results in the O- and A-level exams and said about 80 percent examinees from Bangladesh passed the O-level examinations and 60 percent passed the A-level.
The envoy said, "I hope that you -- brilliant students -- will use your knowledge profoundly for building a better world as education is the key to tackling poverty for the developing world."
Praising the role of The Daily Star in maintaining objectivity, he said, "I have genuine respect for the free press and The Daily Star is an example of it."
The Daily Star Editor Mahfuz Anam said the purpose of the event was to publicly recognise and salute the high achievers of today and encourage those who are to follow to work hard to become similarly successful in future.
Anam called upon the achievers to translate their individual success into a collective effort for nation building.
"Please remember that a country is as good as its people, a people can only be good if its children are good, and children can be as good as the education they receive," he said.
He urged the students to make an individual pledge to serve humanity and the country. "There is no more dignity and honour than nation building. The collective knowledge power of young achievers present here today is enough to change the fate of the nation," he added.
PBTL Managing Director Faisal Morshed Khan congratulated the brilliant students and offered a 25 percent price reduction for the talented students and 10 percent for their parents and relatives for subscribing to CityCell.
The chief executive officer of Citibank N.A., Mamun Rashid, called upon the students to prepare for tough competition on the global market. O- and A-level students could serve well in the country's corporate sector, he added.
QM Shariful Ala, director of Mobil Jamuna Lubricant, congratulated the students on their achievement and urged them to keep up the good work.
Elizabeth Lowen, deputy managing director of EdExcell International, also spoke.
Rezwan Haque of S.F.X Greenherald International School, who secured 12 As in one sitting in O-level examinations under Cambridge University and Shakil Ahmed of Scholastica, who got 5 As in one sitting in A-level under the University of London spoke as representatives of the O- and A-level students.
Rezwan scored the highest mark in English language in the world and this is the first time a Bangladesh student achieved such a rare distinction.
The managing editor of The Daily Star, Syed Fahim Munaim, offered the vote of thanks to the sponsors, participants and their parents.
Elita Karim and Anama Biswas of The Daily Star conducted the nearly three-hour award-giving ceremony.