By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK It is gratifying to know that despite the heavy criticism currently levelled against the country’s education system and the performances of schools, there are learners who have performed exceptionally well. So said Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Becky Ndjoze-Ojo, on Friday as guest speaker at the annual prize-giving ceremony for top achievers in the 2005 IGCSE and HIGCSE examinations at the auditorium at Government Park, attended by many learners and parents. “Outstanding grades have been achieved by the 59 full-time and 18 part-time learners who have gone the extra mile to perform exceptionally well, despite the heavy criticism the education system is presently subjected to. These learners have proved that all hope is not lost and through hard work the education system has promise,” Dr Ndjoze-Ojo told the audience in congratulating the winners. The prizes have been sponsored by the Cambridge International Examinations Board for the past ten years. “The Ministry of Education appreciates the availability of prizes, which recognizes improvement and not only the best performance. To the achievers, this is your day. Be glad about it and enjoy the achievements. You deserve praise, encouragement and rewards. Education, a long journey, is yours forever, because there are no short cuts” the deputy minister said inspiringly, also thanking the parents for the support they have rendered to their children. At the same occasion Edu-Loan announced financial support to post-graduate teachers, who wish to improve their qualifications through the University of South Africa. The company also expressed its willingness to pay off balances of study fees of student teachers.