The 2008 edition of the National Coca-Cola National Essay Competition was yesterday launched in Accra by the Deputy Minister of Education, Angelina Baiden-Amissah.
The initiative, which was introduced in 2003, is a public sector educational improvement programme aimed at inculcating into the young ones the quest for academic and linguistic excellence.
Within five years, the competition has recorded a total of over 29,000 entries and directly benefited a great number of students across the country.
Currently, the initiative has developed into an annual event on the Ghana Education Service (GES') calendar at the Junior High School level with a lot of attraction for the public Junior High School students and other interested groups all over the country.
The Public Affairs and Communications Manager of Coca-Cola Bottling Company Limited, Ike Cudjoe, said his outfit had no intention of halting the initiative, disclosing that “the prizes for the 2008 competition have been made more attractive to better reward the participants and winners, as well as their respective schools.”
The cash prize for the best student has been increased from GH¢1,200 to GH¢1,500, while that of the first second runner-up has jumped from GH¢800 to GH¢1,200.
The cash prize for the second runner-up has also been increased from GH¢600 to GH¢1,000, Mr Cudjoe added.
He said out of the entries that would be received, the best 200 students would be selected and invited to write a final essay in Accra to be marked by GES examiners.
“Out of the 200, the best 20 would be selected and invited to Accra for awards ceremony after which the overall winner would be sponsored on a week's educational trip to South Africa,” Mr Cudjoe noted.
He said the common errors that would run through the essay and their corrected versions shall be published in the dailies for the public to see.
Launching the 2008 edition of the competition, the Deputy Minister of Education, Angelina Baiden-Amissah, stressed that English Language must be considered as a subject to be studied just like any other subject on the curriculum.
She commended Coca-Cola Company Limited for putting together the educative programme, adding that, “the intervention goes to re-enforce the current education reform, which emphasizes the correct use of oral and written English language”.
By Felix Dela Klutse