SIX students and two schools will walk away with trophies and other attractive prizes won in the recently held Vision 2030 Jamaica Secretariat's Essay Competition during the awards presentation ceremony slated for tomorrow at the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ) in New Kingston.
Carmen Miller, communications specialist at the Secretariat -- which falls under the PIOJ -- told JIS News that the winners will each receive tablet computers along with Vision 2030 memorabilia packages, while the two schools with the first-place entries will each get a trophy.
Miller explained that the essay competition formed part of the Secretariat's efforts to heighten awareness, knowledge and understanding, particularly among youngsters, of the country's first long-term National Development Plan, Vision 2030 Jamaica. The plan seeks to position Jamaica to attain developed country status by 2030 and in the process, make it the place of choice to live, work, raise families, and do business.
She said the competition, which was launched last October, was open to youngsters in both private and public institutions and was divided into two age groups, targeting youngsters age 10 to 14 years, and 15 to 19 years.
The youngsters in the first category (Category I) were required to write an essay between 1,000 and 1,500 words in length on any one of two topics:
* How Can I Contribute To Making Jamaica The Place of Choice to Live, Work, Raise Families, and Do Business by the Year 2030"; and
* From What You Know About Jamaica's Vision for the Year 2030, Discuss How It Will Help You Achieve Your Personal Ambitions.
The second category of entrants (Category II) were asked to compose an essay, 2,000 to 2,500 words in length, on any one of the following topics:
* What are the Benefits of the Country having a Long-Term Plan such as Vision 2030 Jamaica?; or
* The Values and Attitudes of Individuals and the Society, as a whole, will play an Integral Role in the achievement of Vision 2030 Jamaica.
Over 70 entries were received from students in several parishes, with a significant number coming from Kingston and St Andrew, St James, Trelawny, and Clarendon. Miller said the winners were selected in December by a panel of judges, comprising representatives of the Curriculum Unit of the Ministry of Education, whom she said endorsed the initiative, and the PIOJ.
Scoring, she advised, was based on comprehension of the subject, creativity, originality, and organisation of the composition, among other areas.
Miller said the quality of the submissions reflected many of the students' understanding of Vision 2030 Jamaica.
"We are pleased that our objective of getting more students to understand Vision 2030 Jamaica, by doing research, by taking time to read about it, by discussing it with their teachers, and also getting the teachers involved in assisting the students, was achieved," she stated.
Going forward, Miller said a jingle and poster competitions incorporating the wider public are among the plans for the year.
Education Minister Rev Ronald Thwaites is slated to be guest speaker at tomorrow's function.