–Cops President’s and Prime Minister’s Medals
Twenty-six-year-old Khushal Singh has emerged as the University of Guyana’s 2023 valedictorian. He completed a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Management with a perfect GPA of 4.0 capturing both the President’s Medal for the Best Graduating Bachelor’s Degree Student and the Prime Minister’s Medal for the Best Graduating Student with a Degree of Public Management.
Singh, a resident of Enterprise, East Coast Demerara (ECD), will be amongst the over 3000 graduands who will be walking the University of Guyana’s graduation stage when the nation’s premier tertiary institution hosts its 57th Convocation exercises from November 9 to 18, 2023.
In his immediate reaction to the news that he was named this year’s valedictorian, Singh told the University of Guyana’s Public Relations Department that he was extremely happy that he copped the coveted prize.
“I feel very happy, proud and fortunate. It is an incredibly rewarding experience. It is a sign that I have worked hard, achieved success, and earned the respect of my peers. It is a reminder of how far I have come and the potential I have to achieve even more. It is also a great opportunity to inspire others and show them what hard work can achieve.”
Singh, the second of three siblings, attended the Enterprise Primary School and then went on to acquire his secondary education at the Bishop’s High in Georgetown.
The valedictorian explained that he came up in very humble beginnings but this never stopped him from dreaming big. His mother is a housewife and his dad works in the Interior.
“My family understands the value of education and always kept pushing me to do the best I can and to complete the programme even though I was faced with some challenges,” he said.
The valedictorian who is also an avid chess player, explained that he was able to accomplish this feat in three (3) years.
“I had to pull additional courses and do summer courses. This meant lectures clashing, several tests in one day, and a greater amount of effort and work being required. With classes, assignments, work, social activities, and other commitments, it can be hard to balance everything,” he explained.
In response to how he managed to achieve this level of success, he said: “I was able to overcome these challenges by being disciplined, consistent and utilise goal setting. I had to prioritise lectures and tutorials and set short and long-term goals. This enabled me to keep track of remaining assessments and plan accordingly. Taking on so much in a short time requires you to be persistent and highly organised.”
According to Singh, his academic journey was not all smooth sailing as he was faced with challenges along the way.
“I was determined to continue pushing myself and expanding my horizons. I was also motivated by the feeling of accomplishment. Every time I gained an ‘A’ I felt a sense of pride and satisfaction. This feeling kept me going and gave me the drive to continue pushing myself.”
Singh explained that his academic journey is attributed to his desire “to achieve excellence in every assessment, regardless of its weight, and me being very angry at myself if I got a B for any course.”
Singh, who has been married for one year now, said that this is not the end of his academic journey as he intends to keep going after new knowledge so that he is equipped with the skills needed to make a positive difference in his community and country as a whole.
“I aspire to develop myself academically with a master’s degree and a doctorate and serve in a capacity where I am able to positively influence policies as I believe these greatly shape the future of individuals, societies and nations. Additionally, I aim at becoming a successful entrepreneur and creating fruitful businesses that will make a progressive impact on my nation.”
He added: “I am committed to using my academic accomplishments to make a positive contribution to the world and ensure that everyone understands the profound opportunities that grow from education. I want to stay true to my values and remain passionate about the things I care about. I want to continue to learn and grow, to take risks, and to experience all of the wonderful things life has to offer.”
Speaking directly to persons who have not yet taken the step of pursuing tertiary education he encouraged: “Take the leap. I would encourage anyone to pursue an education at the University of Guyana, as the institution is a springboard for achieving your dreams and a better life. The experiences will be life-changing and the opportunities that will come will be endless. Have faith in yourself. I know there will be obstacles but those too shall pass.”
The valedictorian expressed that he is very thankful to all those who contributed to his success, including his family, friends, university lecturers and members of his community.
In addition to Singh, several other outstanding graduands will be receiving special awards; these include: Dhanraj Baljit who completed a Bachelor in Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) will be receiving the Prime Minister’s Award for the best graduating student in the School of Medicine; Keon Heywood who will graduate with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education (Secondary) English will share the Council of the University Prize with Marleysa Bishop, who will graduate with a Degree in Food Science.
The Council of the University prize is awarded to the graduating student who has attained at least a “Pass with Credit” and has made the greatest contribution in other areas of University activities.
Heywood will also share the Dennis Irvine Award with Shedella Hodge who completed a Degree in Social Work and will be recognised for being the student who has made the greatest contribution to the cultural life of the University.
Ruth Manbodh will be presented with The Chancellor’s Medal for being named The Second Best Graduating Bachelor’s Degree Student. Manbodh will be graduating with a Degree in Medical Laboratory Sciences.
Sarah Hannah Grannum, who is graduating with a Degree in Law will be given The Pro-Chancellor’s Medal for being the best graduating Law student at the University.
Feryal Khan will be presented with The Campus Award for The Best Graduating Student at any of the Campuses other than the winner of the President’s Medal. Khan who attends UG’s Tain Campus will graduate with a Degree in Management.
Moses Rover, who has completed a Degree in Biology will receive the University of Guyana Students’ Society (UGSS) Award for being the Graduating Student (other than the winner of the Council’s Prize), who has attained at least a “Pass with Credit” and has made an outstanding contribution in other areas of University activities.
This year Convocation Ceremonies are extremely special as the University is proudly celebrating its Sixtieth Anniversary under the theme “Consistently We Rise, Changing the World in Infinite Ways”.
The 2023 Convocation Ceremonies for graduands of the Turkeyen Campus will be held at the National Cultural Centre (NCC) in Georgetown from Thursday, November 9th to Saturday, November 11th, and for Tain Campus on Saturday, November 18, 202,3 on the University Lawns, Berbice Campus, Tain Settlement.
The ceremonies will be blended with the large majority of the graduands attending face-to-face and the remaining participating virtually.
The University will also confer Honorary Doctoral Degrees on ten outstanding Guyanese in various areas of expertise during these special 60th Anniversary ceremonies.