• November 28, 2023

UBAF Launches 4th Edition of NEC

UBAF Launches 4th Edition of NEC
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The United Bank for Africa Foundation (UBAF) in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education has on Friday 24 November 2023 launched the 4th National Essay Competition for Senior Secondary School pupils.

Hosted at the View Hotel Restaurant, on the 15th Floor Freetown City Council multipurpose complex on Wallace Johnson Street, the event brought together past winners of the UBAF National Essay Competition, District Directors of Education, the media and senior staffers from the MBSSE.

Speaking to this year’s competitors, District Directors of Education the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, United Bank for Africa Sierra Leone Limited, Mr Alhsjie Mohamed Samoura expressed his profound delight to see how pupils will challenge themselves in the competition. He said the UBAF NEC is not just about participations but to prepare young minds for the future.

The UBASL MD/CEO registered the bank’s continued commitments towards supporting education. “UBA Foundation is committed to organising NEC annually to compliment the Government of Sierra Leone’s efforts in promoting quality education in the country,” he said.

Officially launching the 2023 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition on behalf of MBSSE Emmanuel Aliue profusely registered government’s appreciations to the UBA Foundation. He observed significance of businesses giving back to their communities and addressing problems.

On the theme of the 2023 UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, which is drug and substance abuse, Aliue described drug dependants and addicts as victims, as he sternly warned youngsters saying; “Just don’t do it for the first time.”  He encouraged the 2023 UBAF NEC competitors to write for professional purposes not just to win prizes and therefore thus entreated them to conduct good researches on the topic not to plagiarize.

Aliue encouraged the pupils to believe in their human capacities which are the best form of human development, pointing out that pupils should be able to research very well so that they can be the next Chinua Achebe, Mark Twain and the Ayi Kwei Armah etc. He added that competitors should also be able to develop empathy for their thoughts. A past UBAF NEC winner Ngozi Madi shared her experience with this year’s competitors and encouraged them to be original with their work as plagiarism is not expected.

In a joint press release issued by UBAF and MBSSE shortly after the launch of the 4th Edition of UBAF NEC outlined eligibility criteria for the national essay competition for SSS pupils across the country.  The release among other things said that the essay competition offers an opportunity for pupils in examination classes to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skillsets relevant for their growth. It said the winners will be given an opportunity to win a scholarship grant for their university education up to the limits of Le50,000 Le30,000 and Le20,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively.

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) and the United Bank for Africa Foundation (UBAF) today launch the 4th Edition of the National Essay Competition for SSS pupils in Senior Secondary Schools across Sierra Leone. The essay competition offers an opportunity for pupils in examination classes to strengthen their critical thinking, civics, and other skillsets relevant for their growth. The winners will be given an opportunity to win a scholarship grant for their university education up to the limits of Le50, 000 Le30, 000 and Le20,000 for the first, second and third positions respectively.

“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. This year will mark the 4th Edition of the National Essay Competition in Sierra Leone in conjunction with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE). In so doing, children across the country will be given an opportunity to participate in the life changing competition,” the release reads.

The joint press release furthered that participants must submit their hand-written essays not later than 29th December 2023 at 5:00 PM GMT at any of the 16 MBSSE district offices, at UBA Bank headquarters located at 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 participant:

  • Full name
  • Age
  • Town and districts
  • School name
  • Full name and telephone number of participant’s teacher
  • Full name and telephone number of participant’s parent/guardian
  • Participant’s essay, and the essay’s word count (number of words used in the essay)

It explained that all essays must be about the following topic: 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 

The press release stated that the word count should be 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.

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