At the awards ceremony held recently at the Barbados Hilton four Muslim students received their awards for 1st and 2nd place in the Barbados Port Authority’s 50th Anniversary Schools’ Essay Competition.
Out of a total of 75 essays submitted from primary and secondary schools across the island, Al-Falah Muslim School student Ammarah Patel gained 2nd place in the 9-11 age group, while another Al-Falah student, Taa-riq Mahmood, gained 2nd place in the 11-13 age group. Also in the 11-13 age group Taahir Bulbulia of Christ Church Foundation School gained 1st place and in the 14-16 age group Fahima Momla of Queens College achieved 1st place.
The essay competition which formed part of the Barbados Port Authority’s 50th Anniversary celebrations was titled “How the Bridgetown Port Contributed to the Development of Barbados”. At the awards ceremony it was noted that 72% of the essays submitted came from primary schools and overall 23 schools participated. The level and standard of the essays were very high and made the judging even harder. As a result of the high standards a special mention group was put in place in the 9-11 age group and 3 students were also awarded in this category.
The first place winners in each of the three categories read out their essays to the audience at the ceremony that included Government officials, members of the Port Authority, Principals and teachers of the winning schools and proud parents and relatives.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of International Business and International Transport, Gabrielle Springer, said the competition enabled the Barbados Port Inc. to continue its strong relationship with the island’s primary and secondary schools through its Educational Outreach Programme. Ms. Springer explained that the programme involved employees of the Port making presentations at schools, and covering topics such as Cruise Tourism, Port Marketing, the Cargo Industry, Preparing for the World of Work and Transitioning from the Classroom to the Boardroom. She added that the main focus of the programme facilitated tours of the Port to give students the opportunity to learn about the activities of cargo operations and the cruise industry.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Port Inc., David Jean-Marie, said he never anticipated the level of commitment that resulted, and commended parents and children for their in-depth research of the topic.
Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Schools’ Essay Competition committee, Freida Nicholls said the essays were well written, creative, and showed thought and that the children were able to link the work being done at the Port to the economic impact it could have on Barbados.
Prizes included an Apple iPad for first place winners, a laptop computer for second place winners and cash prizes to the schools of the first place winners.