Schoolchildren, students from professional centres as well as teachers who took part in this year’s Ocean Festival Art and Creative Writing competition were rewarded on Friday afternoon and their work put on display in an exhibition at the Ministry of Education & Human Resource Development.
Minister Joel Morgan launched the exhibition in the presence of the winners, key officials from the education department as well as representatives of the sponsors.
The chosen theme for this year’s creative writing competition was ‘Plastic free ocean = A healthy ocean’.
The winners received cash prizes, book, certificate and trophies.
Category A was for primary schools only and the 1st prize for poetry went to Kianna Furneau from Independent School. For the story writing competition the 1st prize went to Liam Barbe from Anse Etoile primary while the 1st prize for artwork went to Abigail Accouche of La Retaite primary.
Category B was for secondary schools and Selly Robert from Praslin secondary clinched the 1st prize for poetry. Whitney Padayachy from English River secondary won 1st prize for story writing while Selly Robert from Praslin secondary again secured 1st place in the artwork competition.
Students from professional centres took part in the competitions but only submitted entries for the graphic and stories competitions respectively and all the winners are from the Seychelles Institute of Art and Design (SIAD).
Loutinna Bristol clinched 1st prize in the graphics competition.
Lilianne Bijoux from the Seychelles Institute of Technology (SIT) is the only student who submitted a story in the competition and she was also duly rewarded.
An adult category for poetry was also introduced in the competition this year and this was based on demand from several teachers. Brenda Andimignon from English River secondary was the lucky 1st prize winner.
The best Seychelles Ocean Festival school award in Category A went to Anse Etoile primary while Independent School clinched the award in Category B.
The winning works have been displayed in an exhibition which will remain open for public viewing until the middle of this week.
Addressing everyone present at the event, Minister Morgan said:
“Globally, plastic pollution is having a negative impact on the oceans. Seychelles is no exception due to current beach and ocean littering issues that are quite alarming.”
“The ocean has become a dumping site for several plastic based products threatening the many species which accidentally consume them. Plastic production is on the rise but we often forget the potential risks that this harmful artificial product could have on our sensitive environment and the living things found in it,” he added.
He said that plastic is mistaken for food and moves up the food chain of marine species, for example over 90% of all seabirds have plastic pieces in their stomachs. In addition, around 1 in 3 species of marine mammals have been found entangled in marine litter and die.
“This year our students have shed light on this issue through poems, stories, artwork and graphic work. These literary and artistic expressions challenge each of us to rethink about our actions and do our part in sustaining a healthy ocean,” Minister Morgan said.
He noted that the work produced by the young people is excellent resources that could be used to educate our nation on the urgent need to sustainably manage our oceans.
He also acknowledged the important contribution of the sponsors for the prizes, mainly the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change and Save Our Seas Foundation.
Source : Seychelles NATION