Lamp of Learning
... academic excellence from the early days


Jacob Laltoo: Naps graduate, who won the British Colonial Island Scholarship at QRC in 1913.

1913~Scott Fraser: Jerningham Silver Medallist in 1913.

1920s~Errol Alva Ramdin: Double Jerningham Gold Medallist, Junior and Senior Cambridge, in 1920's. Errol taught at Naparima and NTC after graduating, and subsequently in Mission schools, becoming a headmaster, and later on, a lawyer.

1940~Dr Winston Mahabir: (b.1921-d.2003), Naps graduate, physician, former Minister of Health, who won the Island Scholarship at QRC in 1940

1945~Dr Premchand Ratan: Naps Jerningham Silver medallist, 1945, before moving on to St. Mary's

Prem graduated from UCWI in Medicine in 1955. He worked in T&T Government Medical Services from 1957 to 1988.
He was awarded the national Chaconia Medal (Gold) in 1990 for long and meritorious service in Medicine. He is a part-time lecturer in medicine in the Faculty of Medical Sciences at Port of Spain General Hospital.

...another photo of Prem receiving his medal from TT governor.

1946~Kathleen Smith: First Girls Island Scholarship Winner (1946) receives her award from Principal Rev. Walls, likely at Speech Day, 1950.

1969~Dr Noel Kalicharan: was a scholarship winner at 'O' level and in 'A' level math, while representing the school in chess, table tennis and cricket. He continued to blaze a similar trail at UWI (Mona).
Noel taught mathematics at Naparima in the early 70's, and then did his Masters in Computer Science at UBC.
As a lecturer at UWI, he pioneered the computer science curriculum for TT at all academic levels, whilst writing fifteen text-books on the subject, as well as the television series, "Bit by Bit". Noel has also served as chief examiner for NIHERST and for CXC, and has written popular game programs.
Noel hails from Lengua village, where he attended the Presbyterian elementary school, winning a scholarship to Naparima and the entry to an illustrious academic career.

NIHERST: profile


2014~Mandela Patrick: earned 10 distinctions in CXC. After advanced level math, he went to Harvard to pursue his degree in computer science. At Harvard in 2016, Mandela has been awarded the 2018 Commonwealth Caribbean Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford University, the first such for any Naparima or TT student.
Mandela, originally from Philippine, is also an enthusiastic and capable squash player, representing TT at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.

1943~Sylvia Ramcharan: Naparima's First Island Scholarship Runner-up (1943)

1946~Kathleen Smith: First Girls Island Scholarship Winner (1946)

1953~Alma Lum Ser: Girls Island Scholarship Winner (1953)

1957~Larry Lutchmansingh, PhD: Island Scholarship Winner (1957), Associate Professor of Art History (Bowdoin), twice Fulbright Scholar. Larry returned to TT in 1965 and taught at Presentation for a while, returning to his studies in the U.S. in 1969.

1961 Stanley Algoo: Island Scholarship Winner, Modern Studies (1961)

  • Stan receiving his HSC certificate from Mr. Sammy.
  • Naps Days 1954-1961: Let us be always one!
  • Shakespeare for Trinis


  • 1987~Asad Mohammed: President's Gold Medal Winner 1987

    2003~Kevin Singh: President's Gold Medal Winner 2003

    2004~Dennis Ramdass: President's Gold Medal Winner 2004

    2006~Jansen Scheult: President's Gold Medal Winner 2006

    2012~Marcus Belasco: President's Gold Medal Winner 2012

    Lamp of Learning

    1910~Jacob Laltoo
    1913~Scott Fraser
    1939~Winston Mahabir
    1943~Sylvia Ramcharan
    1945~Premchand Ratan
    1946~Kathleen Smith
    1953~Alma Lum Ser
    1957~Larry Lutchmansingh
    1961~Stanley Algoo
    1969~Noel Kalicharan
    1987~Asad Mohammed
    2003~Kevin Singh
    2004~Dennis Ramdass
    2006~Jansen Scheult
    2012~Marcus Belasco
    2014~Mandela Patrick


    Students from all secondary schools in Trinidad and Tobago wrote the same school-leaving exams annually for Cambridge University in England.

    Sir Hubert Jerningham, governor of TT 1897-1900, instituted a prize for the student with the best showing from all the schools. Initially, medals were given for Junior and Senior Cambridge exams; after 1937, for Senior Cambridge and Higher Certificate.
    The prize was renamed The President's Medal after TT became a Republic.

    The medal is about inch across, in gold or silver. This copy bears the inscription: Regimen reginar in Sanrfax Trinidadia insula, "The Queen's Government in San Rafael(?), island of Trinidad". The reverse (mouse-over to view) cites the achievement.

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    photos: Prem Rattan/Dev Rattan (2014)