National Essay Contest begins

BY: Enoch Darfah Frimpong

The 2013 Junior Graphic National Essay Competition for junior high school (JHS) students in the country has begun.

The competition, which was introduced last year, was highly patronised and most students who excelled won various prizes.

In an interview with the Editor of the Junior Graphic, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, in Accra, she said the essence of the essay competition was to develop the writing skills of students because good writing and critical thinking skills were important for the achievement of success in school, employment and later in life.

She also said the Junior Graphic received a lot of letters written by children and from those letters it was realised that students needed assistance to develop their writing and spelling skills.

The editor indicated that the Chief Examiners’ Comments had also revealed that most students failed to spell most words correctly, used wrong expressions and were unable to put their thoughts together when they wrote essays in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).

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She added that the examiners of last year’s essay competition also observed that a number of the children who participated in it did not perform well because some of them mixed up the present and past tenses in their narrative essays when narrative essays should be written  in the past tense.

“Also some essays were poorly organised because the writers did not write paragraphs appropriately, while unrelated parts of their stories were lumped together in long, winding paragraphs”, she added.

 “So by this competition the Junior Graphic hopes to prepare students adequately so that they would be able to write well and excel in the English Language paper during the BECE, win prizes for themselves and above all, learn the correct usage of the language”, she added.

On the essay competition, the editor said 50 best entries would be selected for the grand final.

Out of this number, 20 best contestants would be awarded prizes after the final contest.

Last year, Ms Yus-ra Bintu Basha of the Alhassan Gbanzaba Memorial Junior High School, Tamale in the Northern Region was the overall winner of the competition.

Story by Eugenia Adjei-Mensah/Junior Graphic