Master Nsoh Nathan Ayinsome, a 15-year-old student of the Standard JHS, Navrongo, in the Upper East Region, has been adjudged the winner of the 2018 National Junior Graphic Essay Competition organised for junior high school (JHS) pupils in the country.
Kendall Jeddy Hammond, a student of the Annchelle Int. School, Takoradi, in the Western Region and Sylvia Asamoah Konadu of the Lawrence Demonstration School, Brong Ahafo Region, took the second and third positions respectively.
The Editor of the Junior Graphic, Mrs Mavis Kitcher, congratulated the winners and said the National Junior Graphic Essay Competition was organised for students with the aim of assisting them to learn how to write essays correctly, improve on their grammar and also build a good vocabulary as well as be creative in order to perform well in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE).
She said the Junior Graphic received over 1000 entries from schoolchildren across the country and out of that number, 47 qualified to participate in the final contest which was written at the various offices of the Graphic Communications Group Limited (GCGL), across the country.
Mrs Kitcher pointed out that the final competitions were supervised by the zonal mangers of the company in the various regions to ensure that the contestants themselves wrote the essays and were not assisted by their teachers, parents or siblings.
The editor added that the first three winners would be presented with their prizes by the zonal managers of the GCGL in their respective schools while the fourth to 16th prize winners would be contacted to receive their prizes in the regional offices of the GCGL.
She congratulated winners and all students who participated in the contest and wished them well in future competitions stressing that participating in such contests would assist them to improve on themselves while encouraging all children to avail themselves of such competitions.
The National Junior Graphic Essay Competition was sponsored by iLearn Tablets, BiG, Twellium Industries, Vodafone and Kingdom Books and Stationery.
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Below is the winning essay of Master Nsoh Nathan Ayinsome. The essay question was; Write your speech either FOR or AGAINST the motion: ‘Free SHS will enhance youth development’ in a debate competition.
The winning essay
Mr Chairman, Panel of Judges, Accurate Time Keeper, Fellow Debaters, Ladies and Gentlemen. The motion before the house is: ‘Free SHS will enhance youth development’ and I, Nsoh Nathan Ayinsome, the first speaker for Group ‘A’, stand for the motion.
Mr Chairman, last year, the government rolled out the free senior high school education programme, with the aim of improving secondary education in the country.
This has created mixed reactions among the public.
While some say it is a laudable idea and are happy about it, others are saying it is a waste of government resources.
Mr Chairman, I would like to give three reasons why I think the free SHS programme will enhance youth development in the country.
Firstly, the free SHS policy will help ease the financial burden on parents whose children are in senior high schools.
They can save the money they would have spent on their children’s SHS education to further their education to the tertiary level in order to secure good jobs and earn incomes in the future.
Some parents can also invest the money saved as a result of the free SHS education to cater for their children’s financial needs later in life.
Secondly, due to the poverty situation in some parts of the country, many junior high school graduates are unable to continue their education to the SHS level and often end up as school dropouts, making their talents, which could have helped in the country’s development, go waste.
Therefore, the free SHS education is a life saver for such students.
Apart from this, free SHS will provide a golden opportunity for students who are brilliant but can’t go to SHS because their parents cannot afford to assist them pursue secondary education.
In this way, the free SHS programme will be a form of government scholarship for such students.
They will seize the opportunity and pursue secondary education to equip themselves with the technical know-how and develop their talents to serve the nation.
Lastly, the alarming unemployment rate in the country has resulted in the rise of criminal activities such as armed robbery, fraud, illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’, etc., but the free SHS education programme can help curb this.
One may ask: how? Mr Chairman, the free SHS policy does not only pay school fees; it also provides books, feeding, school uniforms, etc. and so young people have no excuse to engage in vices because they will be in school to improve on their academic performance.
When the academic performance of students is improved, many can easily get employment in institutions and focus their energies and talents on the country’s development and progress.
Mr Chairman, with the above points, I know that free SHS will greatly enhance youth development in the country. Thank you for your audience.
Report on Essay writing competition
The Junior Graphic Essay Writing Competition was in two stages:
i. the preliminary
ii. the final
There was a noticeable difference in output on the part of the contestants between the essays they wrote from their homes and schools at the preliminary stage and what they wrote at the offices of the Graphic Communications Group in the regions in the final stage of the competition.
While the different setting of the final stage, the fact that they wrote the essays under examination conditions, etc. could be factors to explain the difference in output, the obvious explanation is that at the preliminary stage, the essays were written for the contestants by their teachers, siblings, parents, friends, etc.
We advise that in the future, a better option would be for those who would want to assist contestants of such essay competitions to teach the contestants how to write essays, not write the essays for them.
If they spoonfeed the contestants at the preliminary stage, the contestants are found wanting when they are made to write essays under examination conditions.
It is not good for a contestant who, barely one month ago, had written an essay of more than 200 words to be caught napping when given a similar essay to write.