UBA Foundation, the corporate social responsibility arm of the United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, has announced the commencement of the 2021 edition of its annual National Essay Competition (NEC) in Nigeria with a call for entries.
The National Essay Competition (NEC) is part of UBA Foundation’s education initiative which is aimed at promoting literacy and encouraging healthy and intellectual competition amongst senior secondary school students in Nigeria and across the African continent.
This year’s edition, which is its 11th, has been modified to ensure ease of access and the increased participation of students from Senior Secondary School across Nigeria, who can submit their entries from the comfort of their homes and schools through the UBAF NEC digital submission portal www.ubagroup.com/national-essay-competition.
Like the previous year, the prizes for the NEC 2021 winners have increased in value considerably by 33%. The first prize winner will receive an educational grant of N3 million to study at any African university of their choice, up from the N2.5 million in 2020. The second and third prizes now stand at N2.5 million and N2 million educational grants respectively. Winners of the 12 best essays will also go home with state-of-the-art Laptops to help them with their tertiary research work and other studies.
The Chief Executive Officer, UBA Foundation, Mrs. Bola Atta, said that the Foundation scaled up the prizes for the second year in a row in order to accommodate the adverse effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and also the fluctuation in the currency levels.
She explained that with the digital submission portal, more students in secondary schools across the country will have the opportunity to scan and send in their entries and compete to win educational grants for study at any university of their choice on the African continent.
“At UBA Foundation, it is imperative that our programmes continue to impact lives in meaningful ways. We realise that the use of technologically driven initiatives is part of the modern day. We want to be able to reach the students where they are and this is mostly online. The digital portal for online submission has made it more comfortable for students to send in their applications and compete with ease. For those who do not have access to computers or data, we are going to make this competition inclusive by allowing them access to any UBA branch near them to submit their entries digitally. Every student who wishes to, will be able to enter for the NEC 2021 and stand a chance to win a fully funded University education through the UBA Foundation,” said Atta.
The essay topic for this year is: “What is the role of technology in educating the African Youth?” All essays must be handwritten and students have up until October 29, 2021 to upload the scanned copies of their handwritten entries as well as their IDs on the digital portal at www.ubagroup.com/national-essay-competition. No physical copies will be accepted this year.
The submissions will be evaluated by judges who are professors from reputable Nigerian Universities. These judges select the top 12 finalists who will take home consolation prizes including personal computers. The 12 finalists will write another supervised essay where the top three winners will be announced at the grand finale to be held on November 30th at UBA’s head office in Lagos, Nigeria.
The UBA Foundation’s National Essay Competition has been rolled out in four other countries where UBA operates, with plans in place to cover 19 African countries in the next couple of years.
UBA Foundation embodies the UBA Group’s CSR objectives and seeks to impact positively on societies through several laudable projects and initiatives. The Foundation through its Education pillar, has donated hundreds of thousands of books to students across Africa under the ‘Read Africa’ initiative aimed at encouraging and promoting the reading culture in African youths.