Report on Junior Graphic National Essay Competition

BY: Junior Graphic

The essays were on various topics, including the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

There was also letter-writing, which was quite popular among the students.

The competition was open to pupils in Upper Primary and students in junior high school.
Generally, the contestants gave of their best, with many of them coming from particular schools, especially those in the cities and urban centres.

Indeed, there was virtually no entry from schools in the rural areas, an indication that information on the competition had not seeped down to that level.

The vast majority of the entries were from the Greater Accra Region, and while this should be expected, it creates a  problem when majority of the winners come from that region.

As usual, the essays were written quite well, with almost all of them reaching the standard length of about 200 words, while a few exceeded the limit.

Language use,  in terms of grammar, expression and spelling, was commendable.

But there were many instances when the students and pupils used expressions and words that were obviously beyond their comprehension.

That rendered whatever they wrote out of context and, therefore, meaningless.

It also showed the 'hidden' hands of teachers, parents and elder siblings in the essays the contestants wrote.

Over the years, it has become obvious that contestants whose essays were written for them by their teachers, parents, etc at the first stage of the competition do not do well at the subsequent stage where they sit down in an examination environment to write their essays.

While we encourage teachers, parents and siblings to help pupils and students write such essays in competitions, we advise that such help should be limited to 'coaching' them, instead of virtually writing the essays with all their advanced vocabulary for the children.