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UBA Foundation flags off 2019 edition of National Essay Competition
…Plans big for schools with highest entries
The corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, the UBA Foundation, has commenced the 2019 edition of its annual National Essay Competition in Nigeria with a call for entries.
The scheme which hits its 9th season this year, is part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative aimed at promoting the reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.
This year, the contest is targeting senior secondary school students in Nigeria and the organizers say school with the highest number of students’ entries will go home with special reward.
A statement made available to Business Hilights revealed that the call for entries was announced Tuesday at the UBA House.
Speaking at the event, the Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said the essay competition, which is in its ninth edition, will provide an opportunity for students in secondary schools across the country to put in their entries and to win prizes in the form of educational grants to study in any university of their choice on the African continent.
She revealed further that “Beginning from last year, the prize money increased significantly as the UBA Foundation emphasises that education remains one of the foundation’s key initiatives.
“The first prize for the UBA National Essay Competition is a N2 million educational grant, while the second and third prizes are N1.5 million and N1m educational grants respectively.
Addressing students who were invited for the take off of the contest, Bola Atta said, “To us at the Foundation, this is our drive to improve the quality of education across the continent. It is also our way of giving back to the society. The competition is a key aspect of our investment drive in human capital, as we seek to improve knowledge base, allow students to express themselves and write creatively. We will continue to sustain the initiative because education is very important to UBA and we are more than committed to providing the necessary support for students in Nigeria and across the African continent,” she noted.
“We are driven by the mantra to do well and do good and we will not relent in our efforts to touch lives through our various projects, and initiatives,” Bola Atta told the excited students.
Explaining the modalities for the competition, she stated that entries received from students for the competition will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges made up of professors from reputable Nigerian Universities, who will then shortlist 12 best essays for further assessment.
Following this, a second round of the competition will involve the 12 finalists who will write a second supervised essay from which three best essays will be selected as the overall winners from the 12 finalists emerged from the first round of the competition.
Atta explained that the choice of essay for this year’s competition is one that helps promote creative and analytical thinking in students and helps them to be problem solvers. This year, the topic is “What do you think the government should do to control fraud in Nigeria?”
It is important to note that apart from Nigeria, the national essay competition has been taken to other African countries including Ghana and Senegal. More countries including Mozambique and Kenya will kick off the initiative this year. A unique component of this year’s edition is that, schools that turn in the highest number of entries will be recognised and rewarded a special prize by the Foundation.
In her remarks, the Group Head, Direct Sales Agency, Ogechi Altraide spoke on the benefits of reading and writing essays, motivated the students to research into the topics and give it their best shot, adding that there is the need for them to focus on adapting themselves to happenings in their generation, and to have a growth mindset.
The statement added that “Each year, the bank donates thousands of books to students in Nigeria and across Africa, under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative to encourage and promote the reading culture in secondary schools.”