The Guyana Police Force (GPF) on Thursday handed out $3.5 million in bursary awards to 114 children who performed exceptionally well in the National Grade Six Assessment (NGSA) that was written in March of this year.The awards were handed out at the Officers’ Mess Office in Eve Leary, Georgetown.Overall, 127 students received financial grants. Among those who met the qualifications were 114 students who received $25,000 each along with a $2000 voucher.Six students also received awards from the Police Association of $20,000 each. Special awards were handed to seven outstanding pupils who received bursaries of $100,000 to $200,000. Shabanna Bacchus was granted the highest award of $200,000 from the Force.In attendance at the award ceremony were Assistant Chief Education Officer, Samatha Williams and several senior Police officials.Williams, who delivered the feature address on behalf of Chief Education Officer, Marcel Hutson, said the Ministry is appreciative of the GPF’s effort and lauded them for same. She added that she hopes other entities can host such events inShabanna Bacchus receiving a special award of $200,000 from Assistant Police Commissioner-Administration, Maxine Grahamthe future.“It is occasions like this that help to strengthen the stakeholder collaboration that is needed in order for the Ministry of Education to achieve its mandate,” the ACEO said.She further lauded the children for their hard work and encouraged them to be the best they can in their respective secondary schools.“Dream big! Dream of becoming someone who will work on our oil rig, dream of becoming a nurse, a doctor, an author or even the President of Guyana,” Williams encouraged.Assistant Police Commissioner Maxine Graham related that the GPF’s bursary programme was initiated in 1994.In 2015, 170 persons applied for bursary awards and 141 qualified while in 2016, 212 applications were received and 83 persons qualified.Last year, 127 persons applied and 98 persons were able to benefit. Meanwhile this year, 160 applications were received.Most students who received bursaries on Thursday would have obtained 400 marks and above at the NGSA examination. On March 28 and March 29, some 14,551 pupils wrote the examinations to complete their primary education and gain entrance into the secondary education system.Each candidate’s NGSA score is calculated by adding five per cent of each candidate’s Grade Two scores in Mathematics and English, and 10 per cent of the Grade Four score in the same subjects to 85 per cent of each candidate’s score in those subjects at the Grade Six Assessment. The combined scores in Mathematics and English are then added to the scores gained in Science and Social Studies.The NGSA replaced the longstanding Common Entrance Examination, which was a one-off assessment at the Grade Six level.This year, Nalia Rahaman of Westfield Preparatory School in Kingston, Georgetown was the nation’s highest performer. She secured a perfect score of 529 and has been awarded a place at Queen’s College.The event hosted on Thursday was one of several being organised by the GPF’s Military Band in observance of its 160th anniversary.