The Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) has begun the engagement of schools across the country, in arts and essay competitions to promote environmental education.
Mr Oladapo Soneye, Head, Communications, NGF, disclosed this in a statement made available to EnviroNews in Lagos.
Soneye said that the competition, which began on March 10, was to improve knowledge of participants on the importance of promoting environmental education in schools.
He said the competition, named, “Amb. Aduke Alakija National Schools Arts and Essay Competition”, was the 15th Edition.
According to him, the NCF is engaging the schools and state ministries of education in the competition, aimed at discovering intelligent and creative students.
The NCF official said that the theme of the competition was: “Only One Earth”, adding that entries would be open for submission till June 17.
He said that the focus of the NCF was to promote environmental education among students and youths across all levels of education.
“The establishment of the annual National Schools’ Art and Essay competition is in honour of one of its founding members, late Amb. Aduke Alakija.
“The Annual National Schools’ Arts and Essay Competition, was first held in 1988 as part of NCF’s education and awareness programme in the formal school system.
“The art competition is open to anyone between five and 18 years old, while the essay competition is open to those between 12 and 18 years of age, in full-time education.
“The entries should be endorsed by the Principal/Head Teacher of participant’s school, and submitted to the state’s ministry of education for initial assessment.
“The best five entries in each of the categories are submitted by the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) to NCF, for the final assessment.
“Winners are decided by the NCF’s team of judges, and they will be awarded with exciting prizes,” he said.
Soneye explained that, in the past editions, national overall winners were sponsored to various national parks/games reserve across the country for about a week.
According to him, winners will be afforded the opportunity of learning more about the environment and the abundant wildlife resources.
He said that the trip would also give winners the chance to visit some other interesting places around the national parks/reserves.
“The period of stay of the winners at the parks allows a sharing of views and experiences.
“Since 2019, winners have been winning exciting prizes and given due recognition in the media.
“The competition has been sponsored annually by different individuals and corporate organisations such as Mobil Producing Unlimited; Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria and the Nigerian Bottling company, among others,” he said.
He said that winners had emerged from many schools across Nigeria including Igbobi College Yaba, Lagos State; Science Secondary School Dawakin Kudu, Kano, Kano State; and Federal Govt. Girls’ College Bwari, FCT, among others
He said the competition was a veritable educational and advocacy tool used in engaging youths’ interest in conservation and environmental issues.
“Since inception, the annual competition has grown from participation of one state to 32 states, representing approximately 90 per cent geographic spread participation with over 500 schools,” he added.