Malawi’s Saint Andrews top students win international awards

A group of students from St Andrew’s International High School (Saints) who competed against thousands of others from around the globe to emerge among the world’s top achievers in their Pearson Edexcel and BTEC qualifications have earned international recognition for their academic achievements.

Saint Andrew's International High School students
Saint Andrew’s International High School students

The Outstanding Pearson Learner Awards recognise outstanding learners as those who have achieved A or A+ equivalent grades in their qualification and where they are the top performing student in that particular examination globally, regionally or in their country.

The ceremony which was recently held at the University of Zambia (UNZA) in Lusaka, also saw top performing students from University of Zambia – School of Natural Sciences, David Daunda Technical High School and Chengelo School being issued with awards:

Saint Andrews International High School achieved 10 awards for the Highest Mark in Africa for Edexcel examinations, as well as 6 BTEC Outstanding Learner Awards for students who achieved Distinction for every unit of their qualification.

Two Saints learners were issued with two awards each, namely; Alden Zachary Boby – Highest Mark in Africa for Edexcel GCSE Information & Communication Technology and Edexcel GCSE Design & Technology: Resistant Materials Technology and Connor Murphy – Outstanding Learner Award for BTEC Level 3 National Subsidiary Diploma in Travel and Tourism and BTEC Level 3 National Diploma in Business

Peter Stubbs, Head of Year 12 and BTEC Quality Manager at Saint Andrews, attended the event in Zambia to accept the awards of behalf of the students who were unable to travel due to examinations. The students’ acceptance speeches were shown via video at the event, with learners describing what the awards meant to them and how their Pearson qualifications have given them the skills necessary for future success in both university and the world of work.

“We are proud to provide Pearson qualifications,” Stubbs said. “Their unique breadth and depth allow our learners to access higher education throughout southern and wider Africa, Europe and the UK as well as many other destinations throughout the world.”

BTECs are vocational qualifications which are equivalent to the traditional UK academic GCSE and A Level qualifications and enable learners to combine academic and practical styles of learning, or opt for a fully vocational route and still progress to top universities around the world. BTECs are the gold standard of vocational qualifications, development in consultation with both industry and universities.

“A clear example of a meaningful and skills-based partnership that the Saints’ BTEC in Business students have been involved with is their recent work with a charity in Malawi. The students were able to raise enough money to buy a remote village a much needed ambulance.

“This is taking education to a whole new level,” Stubbs said. “It not only provides a vital role in our community but also allows learners to achieve aspects of their qualification too.”

In her remarks, Southern Africa Regional Development Manager for Pearson’s international qualifications Christine Hayes said the awards were introduced to recognise fantastic achievements of both students and learners.

“As the UK’s largest awarding body, offering both academic and vocational internationally recognised qualifications, we are proud to be presenting the Outstanding Pearson Learner Awards in Southern Africa for the first time and recognising the fantastic achievements of both students and teachers at our partner schools like Saint Andrews,” said Hayes.

She added: “At the core of everything we do is the desire to make a measurable impact on improving people’s lives through learning. We intend to make the awards an annual event in the region to celebrate the achievements of students who excel in Pearson qualifications,” she said.

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6 years ago

But it doesn’t match the quality of GCE Cambridge – it is far much lower, even in the UK it is known to be the cheapest examination and hence not many schools administer it. This is why Kamuzu rejected it at Kamuzu Academy and opted for Cambridge. Hayes is on a campaign to promote Pearson syllabus in order to attract weak schools to adopt it because it is not popular in the UK. GCE University of London comes second to Cambridge exams and every High school pupil in the UK will tell you the same.

6 years ago
Reply to  Gogodasi

it is popular in the UK and colleges around the world accept them. In South Africa, they are accepting them and they are way easy than Cambridge exams. With these qualifications we students are able to adopt more skills compared to Cambridge. We get to work with different types of organizations such as FMB and help out charities. Just because you never got the chance to do them that does not mean you should criticism them. Kamuzu Academy wanted to just do GCE Cambridge but SAIntS wanted to be different and not just offer one thing. Don’t forget SAInts has… Read more »

6 years ago
Reply to  Gogodasi

Yes you are quite right. I do not like the tone of the comment from ‘Gogodasi’ as it suggests that Cambridge examinations are somehow superior. All GCSE examinations from these exam boards: AQA (AQA Education Ltd) CCEA (Northern Ireland Council for Curriculum, Examinations and Assessment) City & Guilds OCR (Oxford Cambridge and RSA Examinations) Pearson SQA (Scottish Qualifications Authority) WJEC are ratified under the the Joint Council for Qualifications and even without membership (Cambridge as a case in point), all GCSEs no matter which board are equal in difficulty and value. They are all level 2 qualifications. SAIntS is a… Read more »

6 years ago

Well done!

6 years ago
Reply to  Gugo

A story tuned to attract customers and not present the reality on the ground..Why are the teachers of the students not mentioned? Is it because they are Malawians? Why send someone that never taught any of these kids to receive the award?

with over 90% Expatriates at SAINTS, why is it hard to beat Kamuzu Academy and BMIS in terms of Exam pass rate? Its important to state that you achieved the best results among fellow weak schools not out of the best schools..Too much cosmetic stuff at SAINTS….too much noise for nothing.

6 years ago
Reply to  anon2

Why so much hate? Can you not be happy for the students and celebrate their academic achievements? Why must you spurn the school just because some of their learners have excelled? The awards were set up by Pearson and not as an attempt to advertise St. Andrews. Congratulations to the students and I wish them the best in their future endeavours.

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