Student Laurenda Kolleh of the Soltimon Christian School System is pride winner of the National Kids Essay Competition held in Harbel, Margibi County.Little Laurenda receives a certificate and a cash prize of L$15,000 (US$97) while the second and third place winners received LS$11,000 (US$71) and L$10,000 (US$65), respectively.
Runners-up include 15-year-old Michelle Gwaikolo of the St. Kathleen McGuire Memorial School in Paynesville, and 14-year-old Gift Samah of the St. Pius 10th Catholic School in Harbel.The competition was organized by Kids Development Initiative, an organization in Margibi committed to developing the minds of children between ages 7 and 15 through creative arts, public speaking, and radio presentation.
Little Laurenda says she is overwhelmed by joy for winning the national essay competition and hopes that government would take the education sector serious.“Our education system is a messy because of poor infrastructure, unqualified teachers, and lack of learning materials”, she notes.
Laurenda stresses that everyone has a role to play in providing quality education, including students and parents besides government.Specifically, she calls on parents to regularly check on their children’s performance at school and stop changing their classes and schools when they are requested to repeat a class because they did not perform well enough to deserve promotion.
She wonders how many school administrators are curious about the learning quality of students, rather than receiving fees. At the same time, she says poor monitoring and supervision by the government is a major challenge affecting the quality of learning outcomes of schools.
The founder of KDI Madam Saykwayee Henry, says the national essay competition is meant to encourage and develop excellent writing skills among children across the country.Henry notes the competition would help give government an idea of the current challenges affecting knowledge-based learning in the country.
She details that nearly 80 entries were received from 19 schools in five counties, but only seven qualified for the first stage of the exhibition, disclosing the rest of the entries had been directly copied from the internet.According to her, the exercise will be an annual event to help build reading and writing skills among students, which has become a big problem in the education system.
By Sally Gaye –Editing by Jonathan Browne