The Duchess of Cornwall has launched The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2019, Monday, at the Ghana International School as part of the Royal Visit to Ghana.
At a brief but quintessential event organized by the Royal Commonwealth Society Africa, in collaboration with the Ghana International School, the Duchess of Cornwall challenged the youth to take advantage of the competition to develop critical thinking skills, sharpen their creative potentials and build a lasting career in writing.
The theme for this year’s competition is a “Connected Commonwealth” a topic the Duchess described as fascinating which will engage the minds of the youth across the world.
“Last year, over 12,000 young writers sent in their stories, poems and essays, nearly 1,000 which were from West Africa. So it’s a huge pleasure to see some of those winners here with us today,” she said.
She hoped a record number of students across the 53 Commonwealth nations “will be inspired to put pen to paper and enter the 2019 edition.”
“As a passionate believer in the power of the written word I look forward with huge anticipation to reading the entries and to presenting the awards back in Buckingham Palace,” the Duchess of Cornwall said to over 2000, patrons including winners of the 2018 competition, teachers, students and other dignitaries.
Learning to read
The First Lady, Rebecca Akufo Addo who was one of the dignitaries underscored the need to build a literate society.
“What will life be if you cannot read and write,” she said, adding “life is easier if you can read and write.”
Despite the incredible benefits of reading and writing, the First Lady expressed disappointment that a good number of people cannot read well.
Through the Queen’s Commonwealth Essay competition and her own literacy intervention programmes, including the “learning to read, reading to learn,” Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo believes the tide of poor reading and illiteracy will be stemmed.
As a gallant host of a historic launch, the Principal of GIS Dr Mrs Mary Ashun said she is “thrilled that the 135-year-old initiative that is focused on children and literacy, will now be even more intimately associated with our school.”
“Since its founding in 1955, Ghana International School has had numerous opportunities to be a trailblazer in education and community growth; we have seized them all.
“We take pride in our Akan proverbs, one of which says Obi nnim a, obi kyere, a reminder that the sharing of knowledge is critical to improving society.
Riding on its motto, “understanding of each other,” Dr Ashun said there is no better opportunity bigger than the Queen’s Essay Competition for her students to engage in exercises that will challenge their creative minds.
The head of the Royal Commonwealth Society, Africa, John Apea- organisers of the event- was excited about the success of the historic launch.
Apea said the 2019 edition will become even more inclusive by incorporating the braille technology to enable students with visual impairments to also take part in the competition.
Prior to the launch of the 2019 edition, students from Ghana International School, The Roman Ridge School, Galaxy International etc won awards in the gold, silver and bronze categories.
The Roman Ridge School for the fourth year running picked the most awards in the competition.
Three of the award winners read captivating bits and pieces of their entries which won them the award much to the delight of the guests.
The event was attended by educationists, including Madam Joyce Aryee, Ghanaian born UK fashionista Edward Enninful, who is also the Editor of British Vogue Magazine, Dr Greg Munro RCS Director General, actor Jackie Appiah, Kidi.