On Saturday 19th December 2020, three pupils : two (2) from the Sierra Leone Grammar School and one (1) from the Annie Walsh Memorial School won the maiden edition of UBA Foundation National Essay Competition (UBAF-NEC) for Senior Secondary School pupils in the country. This competition was organised in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE).
A live TV Studio Session Event was held at the African Young Voices (AYV) Television on Saturday 19th December, where the following emerged as the winners of the 2020 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition.
· Hafeez Othman Taqi, age 16, from The Sierra Leone Grammar School came 1st and won the Scholarship Grant of Le 50, 000,000 ($5000).
· Jesse Nicky Kamara, age 16 from The Sierra Leone Grammar School came 2nd and won the scholarship grant of Le 30,000,000 ($3000)
· Christiana M’Ewen, age 16 from The Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School came 3rd and won the scholarship grant of Le 20,000,000 ($2,000).
The top 12 finalists who made it to the finals received one brand new HP Laptop each. Further to this, each of the 12-finalist received Certificate of Recognition, while the top three winners received trophies that will be a legacy for them to cherish.
“The National Essay Competition (NEC) is a UBA Foundation Initiative that was initiated in 2011, as part of the Foundation’s drive to improve access to education for the under-privileged across Africa. This year has marked the launch of the maiden edition of the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition in Sierra Leone and was done in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE),” said Usman Isiaka MD/CEO UBA Sierra Leone.
The MD/CEO continued that the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition offers an opportunity for pupils in examination classes to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skillsets relevant for their growth.
NEC was launched on the 13th November 2020 by the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Moinina Sengeh and the MD/CEO UBA Sierra Leone, Usman Isiaka. Call for Essay Entry was opened after the official launch onto the 11th December 2020, the essay submission deadline.
The Bank in consultation with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education identified 5 panel of judges, which included communications professionals and professors of English, Literature and mass communications from reputable universities in Sierra Leone.
A total of 289 essays were received from across the regions in Sierra Leone. 43 schools participated, from Freetown, Bo, Port Loko, Makeni, Kono, Bombali and Moyamba.
From a total of 289 essay entries, 193 were girls and 96 boys. 79 essays were disqualified for failing to meet the selection criteria in the presence of the Bank designated Independent Control Officer, and 210 Scripts were marked by five panel of judges.
Thejudges marked essays on the topic: During the COVID-19 pandemic school closures, explain the interventions you wished you had implemented to make your life at home or your community more comfortable.
After the judges had graded all the essays submitted, the first 12 finalists presented well written entry level essays which qualified them for the final stage.
The 12 finalists were again given another topic in the presence of the judges to write an essay within 45 minutes on the topic “If you were the President of Sierra Leone, what would you do to improve your country?“
After the 12 finalists had written the second set of Essays, three final winners emerged, which the MD/CEO announced at the African Young Voices Television Live TV Show on Saturday 19th December 2020.
Congratulations to the 3 winners and the 12 finalists.
About UBA Foundation
As the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of the UBA Group, UBA Foundation is committed to the socio-economic betterment of the communities in which the bank operates, focusing on development in the areas of Education, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Special Projects. For more visit www.ubafoundation.com