They achieved the highest grades in A- and O-levels in the country, a success that makes a great platform to launch their future careers onto the global stage. While the bright minds are for sure to pursue their goals, they have not forgotten their roots, cultures, and responsibilities towards the country.
“While it is important to dream and to work towards our goals, I believe it is equally essential to stay grounded,” said Rishita Faizah, who got 11A*s in one sitting in the O-levels exam from Mastermind English Medium School.
She was speaking at The Daily Star's 20th edition of the O- and A-Level Awards Presentation Ceremony at the Shaheed Suhrawardy Indoor Stadium yesterday.
“… No matter how many branches and leaves a tree grows, it will eventually fall if its roots are not firmly embedded in the ground. So, we must never shy away from our culture and our country, because they are our pride and identity,” she said.
The future nation builders at the programme spoke of values and dreams of transforming the lives of the country's people through knowledge and skills.
“Let's pledge that we will put our talents and education into good use. We must make sure that none of us becomes an educated monster,” said Hanzalah Choudhury, the country's highest achiever in A-levels, with 4A*s and 2A's.
“Let us strive together in building a better world for us and generations to come,” said Hanzalah, who took the exam from Yale International School.
Educated people make weapons used against mankind in wars. Knowledge should be used for the betterment of the world, he told The Daily Star on the sidelines of the event.
He wants to work for the technological advancement of the country.
Sinthia Ahammed, who achieved 11A* and 1A in one sitting, the highest achiever in O-levels in the country, said education and knowledge go far beyond exams and scores. It is an opportunity to know oneself better and fulfil one's responsibility towards society.
“I hope we all realise and act according to our responsibilities; from helping people … to following traffic protocols, disposing of trash in the bins and raising awareness about safety protocols to protect the environment … ,” said Sinthia, who took the exams from Changes.
Reza Mursalin Sabid, who got 11A* in one sitting from Mastermind English Medium School, said he wants to go abroad to study genetic engineering and return to serve the country.
“I want to do something for Bangladesh,” he said. “When it comes to success, there is no elevator. You have to take the stairs,” said Reza.
“You don't need to be talented to get A*s, you need strategic hard work and for a person with such traits, the sky is the limit,” he said.
The students expressed gratitude towards their parents and teachers for their contribution in their success. “My success is not mine alone. My parents and teachers played a big role,” Reza said.
A total of nine students, including the four mentioned, got special recognition for achieving the highest A's in O- and A-levels at the ceremony.
Tamim Mahmud Khan of European Standard School got 4A*s and 2A's in the A-levels.
Aagnita Saha of Mastermind English Medium School achieved 10A* and 1A in one sitting in the O-levels; Shania Monis Aisharja of the same school got 9A* and 2A's in one sitting; Elvis Mostafa of Maple Leaf International School got 11A* in two sittings; and Asmita Saha Roy of Salvation International School achieved 6A*s and 5A's in two sittings.
Teachers and guardians who attended the programme said The Daily Star's annual awards ceremony is a huge inspiration and motivation for the students.
Dhaka's Cordova International School and College Principal Sabbir Uddin Ahmed and The Sylhet Khajanchibari International School and College Principal Hossain Ahmed said the award was good recognition of a student's success.
“Students feel highly motivated and encouraged to get better results,” said Sabbir.
Shahina Haroon Shafiq, A-level supervisor of Scholastica Uttara Branch, said the speeches delivered at the ceremony were very thought-provoking and will have an impact in the students' minds.
Ahmad Morshed Anam, father of awardee Mahna Mehnaz who got 6A*s and 1A, said the recognition by The Daily Star would help students be more confident in facing challenges ahead.
This year, a total of 2,257 students -- 1,813 from O-levels and 444 from A-levels -- were recognised at the award giving ceremony.