Kathmandu, April 22, 2016:Â The British Council Nepal on Thursday organised the Outstanding Cambridge Learner Awards under eight different categories to felicitate the highest achievers in the A Level and AS Level examination series of June-November 2015. Five students from Nepal were conferred with the Top in the World Award which acknowledged their exceptional performance globally, while others were conferred the Best Across and Top in Nepal awards. In lieu of the recognitions, Prahlad Rijal met some of the outstanding performers to pen their feelings and views. Here is what they had to say:
Top in the world
Ural Singh Mishra
Ural from Rato Bangala School was awarded with the Top in the World Â Award for scoring exceptionally high grades in English Language and Literature AS Level examinations held on June 2015. A literature aficionado, Ural credited luck and his teachers for helping him to accomplish the remarkable feat.
A Level in Uralâ€™s opinion is different from other academic systems when it comes to learning. â€œA Level challenges students to go beyond rote-learning and to put effort into knowing and developing critical thinking abilities,â€ Ural said, â€œIt is the only available academic program in Nepal which allows the students to pursue their different academic interests in depth.â€ As per his future aspirations, Ural has not yet made up his mind and is weighing different options but he did mention that he might end up pursuing writing.
A Marxism cognoscente, Sanskriti, of Chelsea International Academy, bagged the World Topper Award for Sociology in the A Level examinations. In her opinion, passion counts above everything else when it comes to dealing with examinations. â€œAchievers are not aliens but more passionate people,â€ Sanskriti said, â€œThe learning environment, texts and syllabus under A Level require a lot of devotion and without family support and skilful teachers it would be very difficult to succeed.â€ When asked about further plans, Sanskriti said that she plans to further her career as sociology major or a Social media expert.
Pranav who developed a tilt towards numbers during childhood, saw his inclination turning into real achievements after he received the World Topper Award for Mathematics in the AS Level examinations. A student from Rato Bangala School, Pranav acknowledges that A Level examinations are pretty easy if one holds true interest in the subject matters and various out-of-the-box concepts. â€œA Level is not in anyway about memorisation. The course design makes student understand everything there is to know about the subject before sitting for the exams,â€ Pranav said, â€œ Personally, it was pretty easy, the course was in line with my interests, which cut down my effort significantly but still helped me to achieve this award.â€
A mathematics enthusiast, Shardul of Rato Bangala School was presented with the World Topper Award for exceptional performance in Mathematics in the AS Level examinations. When asked about the key to success, Shardul replied, â€œSuccess depends on the approach towards the goal.â€ According to him, one has to concentrate during class, listenÂ attentively, understand all the technical aspects and hope for the best. Shardul credited his proper approach for minimising the effort he had to put in. â€œA Level courses are in sync with learning requisites required to perform well in universities of Western nations. And I plan toÂ further my career in anÂ application-based-learning-environment abroad.â€
Yash from Rato Bangala School bagged the Top in the World Award in General Paper (International) in the AS Level examinations. â€œI always had a natural inclination towards various theories pertaining to economics, sociology, technology, and politics,â€ Yash said, â€œ I chose A Level in line with genuine interest. Hard work is not enough, you ought to make smart decisions when it comes to solving practical problems posed during A Level examinations.â€ As per future plans, Yash said he was screening options for further study abroad as he is now equipped with all the skill sets required to pursue highly valued degrees in international universities.
Top in Nepal
Bhargav Poudel from Xavier International College was presented with Top in Nepal Award for excelling in three different subjects: Chemistry, Computer Science and Physics, along with Best Across Four Cambridge International AS levels Award. A tech-enthusiast, Bhargav aims to become a computer engineer and is screening potential universities in the USA for further studies. According to Bhargav, the A Levels were tough but his hard work paid off in the end. â€œI had sincerely learned all the concepts and the required set of skills were always at my command. I became a topper because of the support from my parents, teachers and my institution,â€ Bhargav said, â€œI plan to serve the country only after I finish my studies abroad. A Levels helped me to broaden my horizons and explore new things.â€
Vashistha Manjul Awasthi
A good listener, Vashistha Manjul Awasthi from Global College International took away the Top in Nepal Award in Accounting. Like his fellow awardees, Vashistha too had a natural inclination towards accounting. He credits his college for providing him adequate support which helped him excel in his field of interest. â€œTo go through A Levels was really an awesome experience, nonetheless A Levels demand extreme attention and cannot be dealt without going through the text books and actively participating in classes,â€ Vashistha said, â€œ I plan to go abroad for studies and will surely come back to serve my home country with specialised skill sets in a relevant field.â€
A coding enthusiast from Xavier International College, Pratik Chaudary bagged awards under the Top in Nepal in Mathematics in A Level examinations and Best Across Three Cambridge International A Levels. According to Pratik, his computing skills were innate rather than learned. â€œA Level helped me to enhance my computing knowledge, fuelling my aspiration to become a successful programmer in the future,â€ Pratik said, â€œUnlike SLC examinations which require a lot of rote-learning, A Levels can only be dealt with the proper set of critical thinking skills.â€
Neema Norbu Sherpa
Neema from St. Xavierâ€™s College received Top in Nepal Award in Biology and General Paper. Fascinatingly, Neema plainly admitted that he was absolutely shocked to receive the award as he did not even expect to pass the subjects. Nonetheless, Neema credits the education system under which A Level courses are conducted as being the key to his success. â€œA Levels require students to rigorously deal with the subject matter and understand the theories thoroughly,â€ Neema said, â€œA Levels build a good foundation for further studies in international universities.â€
Ayush Kumar Shah
A topper in Psychology and Sociology, Ayush Kumar Shah from Trinity International College has a quite fascinating story. â€œI lost my good-mate in the April 25 Earthquake and was devastated by the news. The exams at the time were approaching fast,â€ Ayush shared, â€œDespite the sorrow, I put all my effort into critically evaluating and linking concepts when I sat for the exams.â€ According to Ayush, A Levels instils a sense of curiosity in the students and for him dealing with the subjects were like playing; nonetheless, Ayush admits that smart work pays more than hard work does. Ayush aspires to becomeÂ a prominent media figure and hasÂ a tilt towards photography andÂ journalism.
A pursuant of diverse fields of study, Koki Hamaguchi of Little Angels College was felicitated with Top in Nepal Award for Computing in A Level examinations held on November, 2015. â€œIt is fun to learn while critically analysing various out-of-the-box concepts and A-level provides that platform,â€ Koki said, â€œI developed a special interest in computing while learning Q-BASIC in school and will further develop my skill set in a foreign university.â€
Binam Poudel from Budhanilkantha School bagged the Top in Nepal Award in English Language in the AS Level examinations. â€œ A Levels provides an opportunity to learn out-of-the-box concepts and enables one to develop different perspectives of looking at the world,â€ Binam said, â€œConcentrating only on books is the wrong way Â to learn; unlike the SLC, A Levels demand extra effort and depends largely on research based methods.â€
A student from Trinity International College, Shaili Regmi was awarded the Top in Nepal Award for excelling in Biology, Mathematics and Chemistry. â€œA Levels enable students to delve deep into various creative concepts and areas,â€ Shaili said, â€œThe knowledge imparted through A Level is completely practical and relates heavily with real world situations.â€