S. Bagavathi Ammai, N. Hakkim, T.R. Sathyakeerthy, and Melbin Thomas, students of the regional centre of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) here, had more than one reason to rejoice on Friday.

Not only did they attend their convocation ceremony and get their degrees, but were also the proud recipients of gold medals for becoming the all-India toppers in their respective courses.

S. Bagavathi Ammai bagged the gold medal in postgraduate diploma in computer applications, while Hakkim became the national topper in postgraduate professional diploma in special education in mental retardation. Melbin topped the Master of Sociology course. Sathyakeerthy, who bagged the gold medal in postgraduate diploma in distance education, works as assistant regional director at the centre.

A total of 592 students were conferred degrees/diplomas at the 26th convocation ceremony held in the city.

The main convocation was held at the IGNOU headquarters in New Delhi and relayed to the university’s 45 regional centres, including Thiruvananthapuram, through teleconferencing.

The main convocation was inaugurated by President Pranab Mukherjee, while former Chief Secretary of Kerala K. Jayakumar inaugurated the function here.

Mr. Jayakumar said education, which was a preparation for tomorrow, should be an equal mix of knowledge and social values.

“Even as education is the preparation of the individual to face the future with knowledge and skills, it should lay equal emphasis on attitudes and values,” he said.