Ghanaian pupil tops basic school exams in Italy



• An official of the Santa Lucia education directorate (second left) presenting a certificate of merit to Master Emmanuel Sarpong Agyemang. Flanking them are the parents of Master Agyemang. • An official of the Santa Lucia education directorate (second left) presenting a certificate of merit to Master Emmanuel Sarpong Agyemang. Flanking them are the parents of Master Agyemang.


A 13-year-old Ghanaian pupil is making waves in Santa Lucia, a district in the Italian city of Verona, after emerging the best student in the district basic school examination.
Master Emmanuel Sarpong Agyeman emerged tops in the Esame Di Stato examination, the equivalent of Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) in Ghana.
According to reports, what was surprising to many was that Emmanuel did not start nursery school in Verona. He arrived in Verona in
June 2011 and started primary or elementary school at the final stage in Class Five.
The primary system in Italy is not six years as it is in Ghana.
At the end of the third year, the final examination is based on Mathematics, Science, English and Italian.
After that, the international students are asked to write essays on their home countries, while their Italian counterparts write on topics including water and the earth.
The students then present their essays to a panel.
Apart from Italian students, this year’s examination involved students from such countries as Ghana, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Romania, India and Senegal.
Emmanuel, the son of a former Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL) administrative officer, Mrs Mabel Offin-Agyeman, presented a 24-page paper on Ghana to the panel.
He has been in Italy for four years but emerged the overall best student and was the only Black student among the 35 best students selected from all the 35 provinces of Verona.

I wasn’t expecting it

Emmanuel told the Daily Graphic in a telephone interview that although he loved to study, he had not expected the award.
“I feel happy. But for me the award isn't the only result of my hard work. I never thought of getting awards because the important thing is to study.
“I have always liked studying and always tried to get excellent results. I have done this because I wanted to,” he added.
He said the award would inspire him to work harder to achieve higher laurels.

Work of God

An elated Mrs Offin-Agyeman said it was a humbling honour.
“I’m humbled. I have been studying the language too. It is not easy to learn and understand it, but for my son to have, within four years, learnt it, understood it and passed his examination with distinction, the hand of God is in it.
“It is humbling what God can do. I am very happy. He had distinction in all the subjects,” she said.

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