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National school essay competition winners awarded
Date Published: 06 Jun, 2013
The Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) yesterday presented awards to winners of primary and secondary school essay competitions across the country. More than 1000 scripts were entered in two categories of essays.
The first category on the topic 'Wildlife conservation beyond 2050' was sponsored by the KWS Education Department. the second one on 'How schools can be made better learning' institutions was sponsored by the Partnership for Accountability in Schools Management Around Parks (PASMAP) project.
The national winners were given vouchers for educational materials ranging from Sh5,000 to Sh20,000. A total of 20 schools and 16 pupils and students alongside their parents and teachers attended the award ceremony.
Mumbi Girls Secondary School from Murang'a and Ruaraka Academy recited choral verses to guests at the award ceremony at KWS headquarters in Nairobi.
In the build-up to the national award ceremony, similar events were held in the eight conservation areas across the country.
The PASMAP essay involved pupils writing about ways in which schools could be made better places for learning as well as relationship between schools and communities.
The PASMAP pilot project concept is based on the on-going Trust for African Schools in Mwingi (TAS) and covers 32 core schools across the country. The programme seeks to foster accountability and transparency as well as more pupil and parent participation in the management of schools.
The project was set to support some of the poorest schools in Kenya through working with the local communities, business people and professionals in local school trusts thereby improving transparency, accountability, management capacity, and improving academic performances.
It further aims at enhancing participation of local communities and other key stakeholders in school management through strengthening of information sharing at local and national level on resources available to schools.
It also involves strengthening of school-based management committees, establishment of a strong monitoring and evaluation systems. The project also enhances the participation of local communities in the management of education and environmental conservation efforts nationally.
Speaking during the ceremony, KWS Director, Mr. William Kiprono, said that the future of the country's conservation depends on the youth. "There is need to nurture the culture of conservation from an early age. This ensures that children grow up to become environmentally conscious and responsible citizens," Mr. Kiprono added.
The chief guest was the National Executive Secretary of the Drama Festivals, Mr. Patrick Khaemba, who represented the Director of Quality Assurance at the Ministry of Education, Mr. Mohammed Mwinyipembe. Mr. Mwinyipembe acknowledged the role played by wildlife in the country's economy and towards attaining Vision 2030 national development blueprint. "The Ministry of Education will continue working together with KWS and other conservation stakeholders in nurturing our youth to contribute positively to conservation of our country's wildlife," he added.
Since the project started it has led to improved academic performance in most of the PASMAP schools and increased enrollment rate of children in all of the PASMAP schools. The project has also seen participation of schools in Kenya Music Festivals and has enabled the programme reach over 300 schools.
KWS through the Ministry of Education has over the years continued to engage schools and sponsor classes across the country through extra-curricular activities and creative arts.