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August 29, 2014
Star News


OPD essay competion deadline extended

The deadline for entries for the Essay Competition mounted by the Office of the Public Defender (OPD), and targeted at students at the secondary and tertiary levels, has been extended to Friday, October 3.

Prospective entrants are being encouraged to send in their entries prior to the deadline. The original deadline was August 8 but has since been extended. The competition was launched on June 30.

"The competition, the first to be conducted by the Office of the Public Defender, was designed to educate young Jamaicans about the laws and statutes of Jamaica; and increase their awareness about their rights under the Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms," Kayla Beckford, Director of Investigations at the OPD stated.

Beckford explained that the contest is being conducted in two main categories: students 13 to 17, at the high school level; and students 18 to 25 years, attending a tertiary institution.

In category one, the subject for 13-17-year-olds focuses on the disabled; and entrants are invited to write an essay about the treatment of disabled students in their schools.

"We pose a debatable point, and asked students if they agreed or disagreed with the treatment of disabled students, and if they determined that these students are not being treated fairly, then they should recommend ways to change the situation, in approximately 1,500 words," Beckford said.

The three prizes in category one will include: First Place - $10,000, to start an account at First Heritage Cooperative Credit Union Limited (FHCCUL), funds for books and uniform and a basket from GraceKennedy; Second Place: funds towards books from Sangster's Bookshop, uniforms, and a basket from WISYNCO; and the Third Place: funds towards books also from Sangster's, uniforms, and a basket from WISYNCO.

In the 18-25-year-old category, students are required to comment on the awareness of Jamaicans in regard to their fundamental rights and freedoms, and to state which right is most important and why, as well as, to indicate how the Office of the Public Defender can further enlighten Jamaicans about their rights and freedoms, in about 2,000 words. The students must be in their first year at a tertiary institution.

Prizes in category two will include: First Place - a grant to start a business and $20,000 towards tuition from JN Small Business Loans (JNSBL), as well as, a basket from GraceKennedy; Second Place will be $10,000 to start a savings account at FHCCUL, $15,000 toward tuition from FHCCUL, and a basket from WISYNCO; Third Place - $15,000 toward tuition and a basket From WISYNCO.

Entries should be emailed to: kbecford@opd.gov.jm. Winners will be announced later that month.

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