By Emmanuel Uffot
UBA Foundation, the Corporate Social Responsibility ( CSR) arm of United Bank for Africa PLC has launched the 2023 edition of its annual National Essay Competition ( NEC) in Nigeria with a call for entries from legible Senior Secondary School Students in Nigeria.
According to the bank’s Foundation arm, this year’s edition of the competition will offer a window for increased participation for the competitors as they can now conveniently submit their entries online digitally at the comfort of their homes or schools through the UBA Foundation NEC digital portal.
In the laid down procedure for entries for the essay competition, students in Senior Secondary schools are required to properly research, write the essay and upload the handwritten essays to the digital portal at – htpps: //w.w.w.ubagroup.com/national-essay-competition.
This year’s edition of the National Essay Competition which is the 13th in the series has as its topic ” Will Artificial Intelligence (AI) Take Over Human Intelligence? What Should Students do to ensure AI does not overide but enhance their ability to learn through research”.
In the requirements listed for submission of entries and criteria for selection, – Applicants must submit their complete contact information.
-Applicants must upload a handwritten ( not typed) essay on the portal, not more than 750 words maximum.
– They must be Nigerian students studying in Nigerian Secondary Schools.
– They must submit a passport photograph.
– They must submit a scanned copy of either their birth certificate, National ID or International passport.
For the prizes, the 1st prize winner will receive an educational grant of N5million to study in any University of their choice in Africa, a brand new laptop and other educational materials while the 2nd prize winner ( 1st Runner-Up) will get N3million education grant to study in any University of their choice, a laptop and other education materials. The 3rd prize winner or 2nd Runner-up will go home with N2.5million grant for studies in any African University, laptop and educational materials.
Under the selection criteria for winners, a total of 12 finalists will be selected from the total entries were the best three including the winner and the two runners- up will emerge.
Apart from the the three winners, others from the 12 best entries will get a consolation prize of brand new laptop and other educational materials.
While unveiling this year’s edition of the essay competition, the Managing Director/ CEO of UBA Foundation Mrs Bola Atta said the essay competition is part of the Foundation’s initiatives aimed at promoting literacy and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst Senior Secondary School students in African continent.
She equally noted that this year’s competition was an improvement as it has given opportunity for more participants across the country with the digital submission portal, whereby students in Senior Secondary schools will now scan and send their entries.
” We have worked hard to ensure that every Nigerian High School student who wishes to compete in this essay competition, will be able to enter for the UBA NEC 2023 and stand a chance to win fully funded University education through the UBA Foundation. We have for several years, upgraded our processes to ensure that our UBA Foundation programmes continue to impact lives in meaningfully ways”.
On the innovation of using online portal for submission of entries, the Foundation boss said it was borne out of their realisation that the use of technologically driven initiative is part of modern day trend, as such their desire to reach the students in their comfort zones.
The UBA Foundation National Essay Competion.
In last year edition which was the 12th, the first prize was won by 15 year old Miss Usongobong Paul, from Akwa Ibom State and a student of Federal Government Girls College Ikot Obio Itong, Ikot Abasi Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.
She got N5million education grant, laptop and educational materials just as this year’s winners will get. She had beat 11 other finalist to clinch the 1st prize.
Princess Sholabomi and Miss Sharon Nwajiaka emerged as 2nd and 3rd winners respectively from Value Spring College, Lagos and It’s Total Academy, Ogun State
Interestingly, the 2022 finalist were dominated by girls, with only one boy emerging among the 12.
At the prize giving event last year, the bank’s Group Managing Director/ Chief Executive Officer Oliver Alawuba noted the commitment of the Group to invest in children who are leaders of tomorrow not only in Nigeria but Africa. He had revealed that the UBA Foundation National Essay Competition has been instituted in some other African Countries like Sierra Leone, Ghana, Senegal and Guinea with intention to roll it out in all the 20 countries the bank is operating.
The bank said through the initiative, over 60 students have benefited from the initiative since it commenced in 2023.
UBA Foundation, is the CSR arm of the UBA group that focus instigating development in the areas of education, environment, economic empowerment and special projects.