UBA-SL launches 4th edition of national essay competition

The Acting Managing Director and CEO of UBA-SL Mohamed Alhajie Samoura, and the participants

By Ibrahim Kabba Turay

The United Bank for Africa, in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), on Friday, November 24, launched the 4th edition of the national essay competition for pupils in senior secondary schools.

Managing Director and CEO of the United Bank for Africa- Sierra Leone   (UBA-SL), Mohamed Alhajie Samoura, said he believes the UBA Foundation’s 4th edition of the national essay competition will give children across the country the opportunity to participate in the life- changing competition, whilst also offering them an opportunity to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skill set relevant to their growth.

“The winners will be given an opportunity to get scholarship grants for their university education in any African University of their choice up to the limits of 50,000 Leones, Le 30,000 and Le 20,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively,’’ he said.

Mohamed Alhajie Samoura said the essay competition is the UBA Foundation’s  initiative that started in 2011 as part of UBA Group’s drive to improve access to education for the underprivileged across Africa.

The UBA CEO noted that the essays submitted by participants from all the 16 district levels will be marked by panel of academic judges, who will be selected by the MBSSE and UBA, adding that the announcement of the 12 finalists of the competition will be made over TV broadcast, radio and newspaper.

He said the topic for this year’s competition “Substance abuse among youths in your community; explain the problems and the interventions that you wish to be implemented to tackle this menace in your community.”

“UBA Foundation is committed to organizing NEC annually to compliment the Sierra Leone government’s efforts in promoting quality education in the country.” acting said

He further stated that all participants must submit their hand-written essays not later than 29th December 2023 at 5: PM, at any of the 16 MBSSE district offices or at UBA Bank headquarters located at 15 Charlotte Street, Freetown or at any UBA branch across the country.

He added that the essay should be between 450 to 500 words, and all essays must have a title, noting that the essay will be judge based on the structure, grammar, illustrations of ideas and their creativity.

He concluded that all the 12 finalists who sufficiently defend their essays in a 5 minute interview with the judges and meet a cut off mark of 40% and above in the second rounds of essay will each receive a laptop.

The national coordinator, Ministry of MBSSE, Emmanuel Alieu, said the NEC may seem like just a competition, but that is not what it is for them as a ministry, stating that it is an opportunity for students to learn.

“NEC complements our ongoing work to improve learning outcomes for a positive impact on society. The essay competition offers an opportunity for pupils in SSS to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skill-sets relevant for their growth,’’ he said.


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