The Education Office Director of USAID Ghana, Dr James Dobson, has advised children to read and write very well in order to tell their own stories in future.
He pointed out that if they were unable to write about issues involving themselves and their societies they would have to depend on others to do that for them.
Dr Dobson was speaking at the launch of the National Junior Graphic Essay Competition for junior high school students in Accra on Thursday.
He commended the Junior Graphic, organisers of the competition, for supporting children to read regularly and sharpen their skills in writing through the National Essay Competition.
The Editor of the Junior Graphic, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, said the paper was committed to giving all students the best educative materials outside the classroom which were well packaged in simple language to broaden their horizon.
She said the paper, for the past 17 years had been in existence and had provided children right from preschool to the junior high school the opportunity to colour drawings by fellow pupils, write short stories, poems, riddles and creative articles for publication.
She said the theme for this year’s essay contest, “Taking a stand for excellence in education,” challenged students to closely examine what went on in their schools, find out the causes and how they impacted the school environment.
Giving further details, Mrs Kitcher said the competition, which would run from September 13 to November 1, 2017, would require participants to write an essay on a descriptive or analytical topic at the preliminary stage.
Students, she said could, therefore, choose one of two topics to write on. From the entries that would be received, the best 10 essays would be selected from each region and students would write another essay at a designated place in each region to select the best 25 essays. The best 10 essays would be awarded prizes while three out of that number would be given prime prizes. There would also be consolation prizes for other entries which were also very good, she added.
The Acting Managing Director of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), publishers of the Junior Graphic, Mr Kwabena Baah-Adade, urged participating students to be honest and not allow their older siblings to write the essays for them.
The Director, Newspapers of GCGL, Mr Yaw Boadu-Ayeboafoh, said the essence of the competition was not about winning but for participating students to improve their skills.
He expressed concern about the lack of congruence in the arguments of students nowadays adding that reading and writing make one a better person.
The Business Development Manager (Ghana, Togo and Benin) of BiC, Mr George Nkonsah, urged the students to put up their best, adding that aside from the cash amount, they will offer about 20,000 crystal fine units of pens to support the competition.
The Junior Graphic National Essay Competition is sponsored by Vodafone, Kingdom Books and Stationery and iLearn Education and BiC.