The Young Journalist of the Year Competition was organised for the fourth consecutive year by the British Council in collaboration with the Ministry of Education & Human Resources and Le Matinal. The theme of this creative writing competition was ‘Who is the hero that inspires you to achieve?’
Two thousand three hundred and eighty nine (2,389) entries were recorded from sixty eight (68) schools. Essays submitted were of a high standard. Some of the heroes that participants wrote about included famous international role models like Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Nelson Mandela. Others wrote about their parents or elder family members being a source of inspiration for them to achieve.
During his speech, the Minister of Education and Human Resources, Dr Vasant Kumar Bunwaree said: “Creative writing is a means of self-expression that can instil a positive sense of self-achievement and boost up self-esteem. The Ministry through several competitions and events is placing emphasis on extra-curricular activities to provide our youth with a holistic development and open new avenues for them in life.”
Seema Bachoo from Sodnac State Secondary School and Darshanah Mariamootoo from Dr Maurice Cure State College were the two top winners in the senior category. They both won a fully paid trip to Glasgow and had the opportunity to represent Mauritius at the International Young Journalists’ Conference from 14 to 16 April 2014, as part of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme ahead of the Commonwealth Games, beginning on 23 July.
In her speech at the Awards Ceremony, Darshanah said her visit to Glasgow has enabled her to get a great insight in the world of journalism while at the same time being able to connect with many participants from various Commonwealth countries. Darshanah claimed: “Participating at the conference has been an experience beyond my expectations. Not only did I get the chance to listen to top renowned journalists, but I was also initiated to the news writing process. Both my perception and opinion about journalism have changed, for now, I realise that there is a lot more to news that what we just read and hear.” Quoting David Pratt from the Sunday Herald, she further added: “Journalism is engaging with people and whatever news you write depend on who you are and who your readership is. News needs to give a voice to the people.” Darshanah said her visit to Glasgow has broadened her horizons and sharpened her eagerness to explore the world.
Seema who is a wheelchair user, selected as her hero Stephen Hawking – the world famous physicist who is also disabled. Seema wrote: “This iconic hero proved to the world that we, disabled people, are also human beings with the same desires, dreams and ambitions as others... His life story teaches me that challenges and setbacks in life are to be embraced, not to be avoided… His unparalleled determination has inspired me to remain focussed on whatever I want to achieve.”
The Awards Ceremony took place on Monday 26 May 2014 at the MITD House, Phoenix in the presence of Dr Bunwaree, Minister of Education and Human Resources, Head of schools, English teachers, winners and their parents.
The full list of winners for the Young Journalist of the Year 2014 Competition is as follows:
- 1st National Winner: Seema Bachoo, Sodnac SSS
- 2nd National Winner: Darshanah Mariamootoo, Dr Maurice Cure State College
- Zone 1: Rovena Choytah, Droopnath Ramphul State College
- Zone 2: Amnah Umme Tasneem Mudhoo, Rajcoomar Gujadhur SSS
- Zone 3: Gaivin Bhollah, Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State College
- Zone 4: Seema Bachoo, Sodnac SSS and Darshanah Mariamootoo, Dr Maurice Cure State College
- Zone 5: Anne Gaelle Fidelia Augustin, Rodrigues College
- National Winner: Yoann Li Youn Fong, Royal College Port Louis
- Zone 1: Yoann Li Youn Fong, Royal College Port Louis
- Zone 2: Kujali Moonian, Queen Elizabeth College
- Zone 3: Olivier Gaetan Casse, Imperial College
- Zone 4: Sebastien Francois, Eden College (Boys)
- Zone 5: Clair Marie Anne Queency, Rodrigues College
Schools with the highest number of entries per zone:
- Zone 1: Lady Sushil Ramgoolam SSS, Triolet (686 entries)
- Zone 2: Rajcoomar Gujadhur SSS, Flacq (59 entries)
- Zone 3: Mauritius College (274 entries)
- Zone 4: Belle Rose SSS – Girls (200 entries)
- Zone 5: Rodrigues College (6 entries)
A special prize was awarded to Droopnath Ramphul State College (392 entries) for having submitted the second highest number of entries at national level for the fourth consecutive year.