PHILIPSBURG:— On Friday, July 15, the winners of the first Intangible Heritage Interscholastic Essay Competition hosted by the Department of Culture were awarded by Minister Jacobs.
The purpose of this initiative was to stimulate the young minds, inspire intellectual and creative thought and acknowledge the impact of African heritage on Sint Maarten and the entire world. Under the theme “The United Nations (UN) has declared 2015-2024 the International Decade of People of African Descent. In keeping with the UN themes of Recognition, Justice and Development, describe the global impact of people of African descent from your perspective”, three secondary schools participated: St. Dominic High, St. Maarten Academy and Learning Unlimited.
The top three finalist, hailing from the St. Maarten Academy where; Winner: Naomi Jankee, First Runner Up: Jacinth Hunkins and Second Runner up: Tiffany Sang. The winning essays were judged based on the criteria of originality, understanding, structure, presentation, relevance to topic, literary style, wow factor and impact.
The full exercise of human rights by people of African descent depends significantly on their access to education which is fundamental to human development. A combination of greater access to education, completion of each phase of education and higher-quality teaching is not only necessary to guarantee basic social rights, but also has a positive effect on economic growth and equity. Aspects that are important for the youth of Sint Maarten to understand, especially our students who are preparing to and are currently studying abroad who may be faced with social issues that are dissimilar to issues on the island.
Minister Jacobs commended the St. Maarten Academy and it’s English department for not only encouraging students to partake in the essay competition, but providing support and feedback to the students as well. During the ceremony, Jacobs also challenged the students to do more research on contributions of people of African descent in the pre-enslaved period and share their writings and findings with their peers as our history did not commence with slavery but has existed since the beginning of time as well as that the essays will be made public for all to read/hear and learn from.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Minister Jacobs awards winners of 1st Annual Interscholastic Heritage Essay Competition