Sri Lankan students who excelled in their Cambridge examinations have been celebrating this weekend at an awards ceremony hosted by University of Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) and the British Council.
Mr. Ian Chambers - CIE Regional Manager in South Asia
The Cambridge Outstanding Achiever Awards ceremony took place in Colombo on Saturday November 21. A large audience of parents and teachers watched as Sri Lanka's top students picked up awards for scoring the highest marks in the Cambridge O/ Level and International A/AS Level examinations in November 2008 and June 2009.
The winners came from more than a dozen schools in Sri Lanka, all of which offer the Cambridge International Curriculum. Among them were two students who received CIE's prestigious Top in the World award: Faathima Rehaana Seyad Mohammed and Nilupuli Ariyaratne, both from Lyceum International School, Nugegoda, scored the highest marks in the world in the Cambridge O Level Human and Social Biology examination in November 2008.
Growing demand for Cambridge
The number of Sri Lankan students pursuing Cambridge qualifications is increasing, with CIE reporting a 12 per cent growth in entries for Cambridge examinations in Sri Lanka this year.
Ian Chambers, CIE Regional Manager South Asia, said: 'Over 40 schools are registered to offer Cambridge qualifications in Sri Lanka, and I expect another four to register in the coming months. There are many reasons why schools choose the Cambridge International Curriculum, but CIE's global reputation for delivering excellence is a key factor.'
The move towards a Cambridge education reflects a global trend, with worldwide entries in the June 2009 Cambridge examinations rising by an impressive 15% compared to the same exam session last year.
Internationally recognised qualifications
CIE has delivered high quality assessments for over 150 years, and is the world's largest provider of international qualifications for 14-19 year olds. It is part of the Cambridge Assessment Group, and the University of Cambridge, and is a not-for-profit organisation.
In Sri Lanka, students can follow Cambridge programmes from primary through to secondary school. The Cambridge O Level curriculum is for 14-16 year olds, and leads to Cambridge International A/AS Level.
In June 2009 there were over 640,000 entries worldwide in the Cambridge O Level session. It has an excellent reputation among universities and employers, and a Cambridge O Level in English meets the demands for proof of English proficiency at most UK and many US universities.
Cambridge International A Level qualifications are available in over 65 subjects, so that students can choose the areas of study that most interest them. They are a passport to international study and employment, and are recognised by leading universities worldwide including the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Excellence in education
Schools choose Cambridge because they value the student-centred approach. Students develop lifelong skills in enquiry, creative thinking and problem solving which they can apply in all areas of their lives.
Ian Chambers says: 'CIE is uniquely positioned to draw on educational research from Cambridge Assessment and the University of Cambridge. This means that Cambridge qualifications are underpinned by the latest thinking in education. Assessments are designed to test students' understanding, and their ability to apply knowledge to a range of real-world contexts.
'Our relationship with the University of Cambridge means we understand what leading universities demand from students, and we ensure our qualifications give students the best possible preparation for university.'
Support for teachers
CIE believes that teacher training is essential to achieve good results.
Last month, CIE hosted a workshop for over 40 science teachers in Sri Lanka.
The Student-centred Education in Science seminar was run by a specialist from the University of Cambridge, Faculty of Education, and gave teachers new techniques for science teaching.
Ian Chambers said: 'Teachers were really enthused by the science workshop, and I am sure it will improve student results.
CIE's approach is to work in partnership with schools to develop successful students. We are committed to supporting teachers in Sri Lanka.'