The winners of an essay competition, organised by the Ministry of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, in the context of World Humanitarian Day 2022, were rewarded, on Thurday afternoon, during a prize giving ceremony held at the Rajiv Gandhi Science Centre in Bell Village.
The Vice-Prime Minister, Minister of Education, Tertiary Education, Science and Technology, Mrs Leela Devi Dookun-Luchoomun, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Mr Alan Ganoo, were present.
In her address, VPM Dookun-Luchoomun underlined that the purpose of the competition was to sensitise youths on the importance of humanitarian assistance and help them forge their personality though the research undertaken. This extracurricular activity, she pointed out, has helped the participants internalise values and virtues of humanitarian principles.
The VPM also dwelt on the contribution of humanitarian aid workers who go out of their way to help people in need. She observed that humanitarian aid has taken a whole new significance since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which the world witnessed the crucial support these workers provided to everyone.
On that note, she paid tribute to all frontliners and volunteers who ensured business continuity for the nation and expressed gratitude to the team of educators and other stakeholders who worked diligently to ensure the continuity of online classes by recording lessons.
These humanitarian values and attitudes, she stressed, are the values that the Government wants to develop in our learners through a value-based education to promote selflessness and humanism.
Speaking about the ongoing educational reform, Mrs Dookun-Luchoomun recalled that it has as guiding principles the holistic development of learners through subjects such as values and citizenship education, life skills, and social and emotional wellbeing.
Education, she observed, promotes the overall development of the learner, through the acquisition of life skills which will contribute to make him ready for the world of work, make him a good citizen and teach him how to care about people, the Motherland and the environment.
Furthermore, she underscored the relevance of global citizenship education which essentially seeks to empower learners to show active roles in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies. According to the VPM, participating in extracurricular activities such as the essay competition will foster global citizenship values.
As for the Foreign Affairs Minister, he dwelt on the theme chosen by the United Nations this year to commemorate the World Humanitarian Day, namely, “It takes a village”. He highlighted that it aims to shed light on professionals, volunteers, social workers and others involved in delivering assistance to those in need. It emphasises that the world is a global interconnected village and that a crisis in one country may adversely impact on other countries, thus collective endeavours are called upon to address crisis situations, he stated.
Mr Alan Ganoo further remarked that the participants have developed a better understanding and awareness of what humanitarian work implies and of the impact that the actions of humanitarian workers have around the world.
Besides, the Minister congratulated all the participants who made the effort of researching and writing on the topic, and urged them to inspire their friends, family, and neighbourhood to engage in humanitarian work.
Winners of the competition
The winners are as follows:
Category A-Grade 10 and 11
The grand winner is Ayushi Soobhug (Merton College) who was rewarded with a cash prize of Rs 7,000 and a shield.
The second prize consisting of a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a shield was awarded to Potashay Nohur (Friendship college boys).
The third prize went to Veeshesh Sahaye (Sebastopol SSS), who obtained a cash prize of Rs 3,000 and a shield.
Category B – Grade 12 and 13
Tiantian Lei (G.M.D Atchia State College) was proclaimed the winner of this category and obtained a cash prize of Rs 7,000 and a shield.
The second prize was offered to Loréna Christina Kimberly Lafleur (St Mary’s West College) who was remitted a cash prize of Rs 5,000 and a shield.
Zayyan Moideen Saib of Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State College obtained the third prize consisting of a cash prize of Rs 3,000 and a shield.
Thirty secondary schools participated in the competition and 73 essays were submitted.