During a well-attended ceremony held at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown, the United Bank for Africa Foundation, in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School officially launched the second edition of the bank’s National Essay Competition (NEC).
Addressing the gathering, the Managing Director/CEO of UBA Sierra Leone, Usman Isiaka, on behalf of the bank noted that they are very gratified to launch the 2nd Edition of the National Essay Competition for SSS pupils in Senior Secondary Schools across Sierra Leone in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE).
He stated that the essay competition offers an opportunity for pupils in examination classes to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skills relevant for their growth and that the winners will be given an opportunity to win a scholarship grant for their university education up to the limits of Le 50 million, Le 30 million and Le20 million for the first second and third positions respectively.
Usman Isiaka maintained that NEC is a UBA Foundation Initiative that started in 2011 as part of UBA Group’s drive to improve the access to education for the under-privileged across Africa.
He revealed that in the first edition they received 289 essays from 43 schools across 7 provinces despite the fact that students were already preparing for their examinations during the period. The Managing Director disclosed that the objective of the 2nd edition is to ensure that they receive participants from all secondary schools across all the 12 provinces in the country stating that is the reason why they are starting the program much earlier than previous year.
The Managing Director informed all that participants must submit their hand-written essays not later than 10thNovember, 2021 at 5:00 PM GMT to any of the 16 MBSSE district offices, at UBA Bank headquarters situated on 15 Charlotte Street, Freetown, or at the bank’s branch locations anywhere in the country.
All essays submitted must include the following details of the participants’ Full Names, Ages, Towns and Districts, School Names, Full Names and Telephone numbers of participants’ teachers, Full Names and Telephone numbers of participants’ parents/guardians, participants’ essays and the essays word counts (number of words used in the essays).
He continued that all essays must related to the following topic: “Environment Resilience in Sierra Leone; Identify a Critical Stakeholder and Present their Interventions for Climate Change” with a word count of between 450 and 500 words and all essays must have a title. The essays will be judged based on their structure, grammar, illustrations of ideas and their creativity.
Speaking on behalf UBA Sierra Leone Board of Directors, the Chairman, Abdul Sheku Kargbo, described last year’s UBA Foundation National Essay Competition event as a huge success.
He stated that the bank had credited the various accounts of the last three winners with a total sum of Le 100,000,000 ($10,000) grant scholarship for their tertiary education, and the 12 Finalists including the winners were given brand-new laptops meant for their educational research and other academic activities.
“As a Board, we remain committed in supporting the Management of UBA Sierra Leone in actualizing the bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility on the following areas: Education, Environment, Economic Empowerment and Special Projects. I was also privileged not too long ago to participate in the distribution of books to various secondary schools,” he assured.
Abdul Sheku Kargbo concluded by expressing his sincere appreciation to the Minister and his team at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education on the strides the Ministry had been taking to bring to fruition the President’s vision in providing free quality Education for the children in Sierra Leone.
Launching the 2nd Edition of the National Essay Competition, the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David MoininaSengeh, commended the UBA Foundation for such a laudable initiative.
According to him, the essay competition offers an opportunity for secondary school pupils to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skills relevant for their growth.
The Minister pointed out that as UBA has revealed that the winners will be given an opportunity to win a scholarship grant for their university education up to the limits of Le50 million, Le30 million and Le20 million for the first, second and third positions respectively which he said is a laudable one in complementing the Government’s Free Quality Education Initiative.