Young creators of change

During the nationwide essay award ceremony, learners impressed with their focus, critical thinking, creativity and writing skills.

12 October 2021 | Education

Mariselle Stofberg

Youth impress with critical thinking and writing

More than 250 submissions were received for the 2021 nationwide essay competition hosted by BW Kudu, Namcor and the ministry of mines and energy with assistance from the ministry of education.

With the aim of raising awareness around natural gas resources in Namibia, the competition provided learners with the opportunity to apply their interest in science and mathematics to create quality essays.

The three national winners were Uatjiri Hewicke in first place, Danie Swarts in second and Egumbo Amakali in third.

Grade nine to 12 learners were able to enter the competition and the central question posed was how the oil and gas industry and relevant stakeholders can best develop natural gas resources for the future of Namibia.

Rowland Brown, Dr Leake Hangala and Jane Katjivivi, the adjudicators, were impressed by the standard and quality of submissions.

Apart from the national winners, 14 regional winners were also selected. Each regional winner received a cash prize of N$3 000 plus N$4 000 for their school. In addition, the top three national winners each received a brand-new laptop.

The 14 regional winners were Magano Nekongo (Garibams Secondary School, //Karas Region), Eleora !Gaoses (Riverside High, Erongo), Lazé De Klerk (Privaatskool Elnatan, Hardap), Emily Kangandi (Rukonga Vision School, Kavango East), Edith Kazanga (ELCIN Nkurenkuru High School, Kavango West), Hewicke (St. Paul’s College, Khomas), Swarts (Privatskool Moria, Kunene), Ndeshipanda Heita (Haimbili Haufiku Senior Secondary School, Ohangwena), Felicitah Mukura (Gobabis Gymnasium Private School, Omaheke), Martha Sheehama (Nili Taapopi Secondary School, Omusati), Amakali (Oshihenge Combined School, Oshana), Lettisia Naimwhaka (Wendy Private School, Oshikoto), Ronaldinho Swartbooi (J.G. van der Wath Secondary School, Otjozondjupa) and Bupilo Namakaliza (Mavuluma Combined School, Zambezi).

“I am pleased that we have started mobilising our learners at a young age. It is important that we explore other avenues of energy in order to continue developing our country for our future generations,” Maggy Shino, the petroleum commissioner of the mines ministry, said on behalf of Kornelia Shilunga, the deputy minister of mines.

“I am confident that the competition sparked interest in energy-related issues among Namibian learners. I am also hoping that the competition has helped inspire Namibian learners to pursue studies and careers in science subjects,” BW Kudu’s general manager Klaus Endresen said.

Namcor managing director Immanuel Mulunga expressed gratitude to all the stakeholders who contributed towards the success of the event.

“I am often reminded of our late former minister of education, Dr Abraham Iyambo, who left a mark on the education sector. What will surprise you is that he attributed his ideas and plans that led to the transformation of the education sector to learners, cleaners and parents. Maybe this should be a lesson to us too in the oil and gas sector. The most notable ideas on the transformation of the oil and gas sector may perhaps come from those we least expect!” he said.

“We need to pass the baton of leadership in energy and natural resources to our youth, and I am glad we have started grooming them towards a sustainable Namibia,” Mulunga added.

“I enjoyed every moment of this competition and winning was such a proud moment for me. I want to encourage the youth to participate in competitions like this. It opens up your horizons and empowers you to grow, learn more and excel,” Hewicke said.

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