UCCCI launches essay and debate contest for Region Six schools

The Upper Corentyne Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCCI) launched its essay and debate competition on curbing early sexual activity in ten schools in the Upper Corentyne area on Monday.

The competition aims to raise awareness about the negative effects of school children engaging in early sexual activity, an issue that is becoming more common, the UCCCI said in a press release. UCCCI has partnered with USAID and collaborated with the Region Six Department of Education on the project.

The essay topic is ‘What can I do to help my community address the issue of early sexual activity?’ The contest is open to both secondary and primary students. The essay must be typed and double spaced in Times New Roman font at font size 12. The UCCCI said it will also accept clear handwritten submissions. The cover page must include the student’s name, the name of the school, the student’s class level, the student’s age, the title of the essay and the teacher’s signature. Secondary school students must produce 450 words while primary students must produce 300 words.

The UCCCI said the criteria for judging are as follows: content – 25 points; originality – 20 points; structure – 15 points; expression (including language and Grammar) – 25 points and the overall impression – 15 points for a total of 100 points. The judges’ decision is final, it added. The winner will receive $15,000, second prize $10,000 and third prize $5,000. Prizes will be presented at an awards ceremony on September 30.

Al entries must be submitted to the head teacher of the respective schools and must be forwarded to the UCCCI at Lot 52 ‘B’ Number 78 Village, Corriverton, Berbice no later than Friday, September 23. The UCCCI said the contest is part of a wider drive to sensitise the public about the issue as well as to allow students a chance to air their views and to provide solutions that will help them and their peers to make wiser choices. For more information, persons are invited to contact the UCCCI at telephone number 335-3199.

Meanwhile, the debate competition, which is being held among secondary schools only, also started on Monday and will conclude on October 30.

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