De Castro said the competition was developed as an avenue to give children the opportunity to express their views on the current challenging situation faced in the territory as a result of COVID-19.
She said: “I wanted to come up with a way of engaging our young people to express themselves in a constructive way and at the end of it all reward their efforts with prizes that will benefit them, especially as learning becomes more dependent on technology.”
“Also, as an educator, with a keen interest in the academic advancement of our youth, I welcome the support of like-minded individuals, parents, educators, professors and the community at large to encourage students to participate in this initiative,” added de Castro who is also the Junior Minister for Tourism.
The junior minister said she anticipates reading the essays and understanding the views of the students. She also hinted at the possibility of some of the ideas presented within the essays contributing to future policymaking decisions during the pandemic.
The competition will consist of three categories to include primary, secondary and tertiary.
For the primary students, they will have the option to choose between three topics — ‘My COVID-19 Experience’, ‘My Role In Keeping the BVI COVID-free’ and ‘The Impact of the Pandemic on my Family’.
Winners in grades 1 to 3 will receive an iPad mini, while grades 4 to 6 will receive an iPad 7th generation.
For secondary students, their topic is ‘BVI Tourism in a Global Pandemic’ and the winners of this category will be awarded Lenovo laptops.
Tertiary students will have to write about ‘The BVI Post-Pandemic’. The winners in this group will be awarded a MacBook Air computer.
Essays must be typed and submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org on or before September 25.