Trust Bank Gambia Limited on Wednesday convened its Excellence Millennium Award presentation in honour of Gambia's 10 most outstanding students in the 2022 Grade Nine exams of the West African Examination Council (WAEC).
The students, who scored aggregate 6, hailed from various Junior Secondary Schools across the country.
The schools included Gambia Methodist Academy, SOS Herman Gmeiner Junior School, Ann Marie Rivier, Mansa Colley Bojang Junior School, St. Therese's Junior School, Charles Jow Memorial Academy, and St. Peter's Junior School.
The occasion, held at the Atlantic Hotel in Banjul, marked the 13th time in 13 years the bank has undertaken such a paramount gesture in their support to the educational sector where young students' achievements are recognised.
The awards, worth over D500,000, comprises a package of D5,000, a computer tablet and a certificate of excellence to each of the top 10 outstanding students.
D10,000 was also given to the school that produced the candidate with the best results, D20,000 to the school with the highest number of awardees and D5,000 to the most outstanding student.
Speaking at the ceremony, Trust Bank Managing Director Njilan Senghore said the award was not just recognition of the students' academic excellence but a celebration of their characters, dedication and commitment to making a positive difference in their lives.
She said the students had demonstrated their willingness to go above and beyond what was expected of them. "To the awardees, all your hard work has paid off," she commended the students. "Years of hard work has brought you to this moment."
She also informed the awardees that the event was not the end of the journey but a beginning of a new chapter to discover, learn and achieve more.
Thus, she encouraged them to challenge themselves to embrace new experiences and ideas and never to lose sight of the goals.
"I urge each one of you to continue striving for excellence in your chosen fields," she advised, boosting the students' ego: "Our country needs people like you who are constantly pushing themselves to be their best to make a positive change."
Out of a total of 27,018 candidates that sat the exams, 58.09% were females, she said, adding that 31 students scored aggregate 6 comprising 18 girls and 13 boys including the top ten that received awards this year.
In his keynote address, Ebrima Sisawo, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, applauded the awardees, saying that they had made not only the education sector proud, but also their parents and teachers.
He urged students to maintain the momentum, stating that the ministry has confidence in their achievements, that in the next three years, they were going to sit for the Grade 12 exams and all and sundry would be expecting or looking out for their names in that top list as they have already set a high standard.