A member of the panel of judges of this year’s UBA Foundation National Essay Competition, Prof. Ini Uko, has stressed the need for students to use proper English Language spellings and expressions in their daily activities so as to communicate effectively and avoid uneccessary errors.
The Professor of English and Director of Pre-degree Studies at the University of Uyo, who made this known during the presentation of prizes to winners of the competition in Lagos, expressed concern that most students tend to use slangs and informal expressions during examinations becuause they have become used to them; this she described as one of the causes of poor performance.
According to her, parents can help reverse the trend by insisting that their children use proper English Language expressions when communicating with them, especially when sending text messages or emails to them.
This year’s competition with the topic ‘Select a Popular New Technology or Application and Write an Instruction Manual for your Grandparents on how to use it and how to get the most value out of it’ was won by Miss Samuela Sam-Orlu of the British Nigerian Academy, Abuja. She received an educational grant of N1 million to study in any African university of her choice, as well as a laptop.
Miss Deborah Innocent of Enal International Schools Abuja came second and got N750,000 and a laptop, while Miss Yahofon Ettah Essien of Nigerian Christian Institute Akwa Ibom State came third and received N500,000 and a laptop. The other nine finalists also got laptops. All 12 finalists also went home with certificates.
In his remarks, the Managing Director of UBA Plc, Mr. Kennedy Uzoka, said the bank was happy to touch lives through the competition and the grant it gives out to those who emerge winners.
â€œSeeing past winners tell their stories on the impact the grants have made on their education and particularly how the financial burden was lifted off their parents, gives us joy that our foundation is unique and stands out from others in touching lives.â€
He disclosed that the essay competition has produced over 100 winners since its inception in 2011 in Nigeria with winners studying various courses in universities in Nigeria and within Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer of UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, who congratulated the finalists for their exceptional performance, said the foundation makes it a point of duty to give back to communities where the bank operates. She added that education is one of the foundationâ€™s focus areas as it is the bedrock of any nation.
The competition which is targeted at senior secondary school students across the country, is aimed at promoting reading culture and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition among secondary school students in Nigeria and across Africa.