The Nation Builders of Tomorrow
The awardees pose with the chief and special guests. Photo: Star
There was something different about this year's O and A level award function. Held at the Shaheed Suhrawardy National Indoor Stadium, last week, like every year, there were proud parents and teachers from English medium schools all over the country, waiting to see their wards being awarded for being one of the best students, not only in the country, but in the world. There were also music and dances from schools in Dhaka, Chittagong and Sylhet. However, what was special about the whole event was the fact that the 12th O and A Level Daily Star Award function was celebrated along with the 20 years of the Daily Star and 40th year of an independent Bangladesh.
For a youngster, to be the highest achiever in the world is probably much more than making his or her family and school proud. It is close to standing on the world stage and representing his or her country. 47 students in Bangladesh scored the highest grade in the world -- for the GCE O and A level examinations last year. While 32 students scored the highest in 14 subjects in the O level examinations, the rest of the students scored the highest in seven subjects in the A level examinations.
In a country where the traffic is bad enough to delay tasks and basic security after dusk is still an issue, it is probably difficult for a young student to find inspiration everyday. However, for Intekhab Hossain, it was not so. From South Breeze School, the O level award winner attained 11 A's in one sitting in the May/June, 2010 session. Along with him, Inara Sunan Tareque from South Breeze School, Shahab Saad from Maple Leaf International School and Arif Billah from Manarat Dhaka International College also achieved 11 A's, in two consecutive sittings.
Personal achievements always seem better when one's family and friends are around to witness them. That is exactly how Ashraf Haque Mahfuze felt. A student from Mastermind, Ashraf was awarded for attaining six A's in one sitting in the A level examinations in the May / June, 2010 session.
For the very first time, a student was awarded a special award for achieving 5 A stars in the A level exams, under the EDEXCEL. Ahmad Ullah Hosainy, from Sunshine Grammar School and College, Chittagong, scored more than 90 percent marks in each subject in one sitting, something that has never been achieved in the world.
The Daily Star award function has always been a great source of inspiration, where the adults feel the energy coming through to them, thanks to the enthusiastic cries and leaps of joy when the names of schools and award winners are called out on stage. As the function came to a closing, the thousand and more young award winners got together for the customary grand picture, taken with the Editor and Publisher of the Daily Star, Mahfuz Anam. Also present at the award function were Rokia Afzal Rahman, President of the Bangladesh Federation of Women Entrepreneursand former adviser to a caretaker government, who was also the chief guest and handed over the certificates and medals to the students; special guest Stephan Evans, the British High Commissioner; David Davies, International Portfolio Manager of Edexcel, UK and Syed Mahbubur Rahman, Managing Director and CEO of Brac Bank Ltd, along with the principals from all the schools. The event was telecast live by Desh TV and recorded by Channel i.