Prizes for top writers of Mekar-Juara essay contest

National 2 minutes, 26 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

EIGHTEEN students received prizes for their essays in the annual Mekar-Juara Pelajar Student Essay Contest held at the Language Literature Bureau (DBP) in Old Airport, Berakas yesterday.

The students each received a cash prize, a trophy, a certificate of appreciation, _Mekar _and _Juara Pelajar _magazines as well as books published by the DBP, the organiser of the event.

Overall, a total of 16 primary schools and 9 secondary schools participated in the competition which was divided into three categories.

Category A was for primary school students from year 4 to 6; Category B for lower secondary students from year 7 to 9; and Category C for upper secondary students from year 10 to 11 as well as members of the public who are between 14 and 18 years old.

There was also a prize presentation for the best school participation, where category A was won by Katok A Primary School, category B by Maktab Sains Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan and category B by Sekolah Menengah Chung Ching Seria.

St George’s School in the capital, Nusa Laila Puteri School and Mabohai Primary School also received prizes for being able to provide the best sales of Mekar in their institutions.

The Managing Director of Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, Hj Brahim Hj Ismail, was on hand to present the prizes and trophies.

Additionally, consolation prizes were also given to five participants from each categories and its sub-categories.

Acting Director of DBP Hjh Nortijah Hj Mohd Hassan said most participants had met the requirements set where most writings submitted were found to have used Malay language correctly and effectively in both categories.

“Ideas that were showcased were not out of the context of students, based on their experience and studies in schools including the importance of knowledge, family institutions, character building, technological developments and current issues,” she said.

However, she said there were also essays that were disqualified by the judges as they contained too many references to readings based on the Internet websites, affecting the authenticity of the writings.

Some of them, she said, were also not accepted due to careless mistakes including not providing the titles of the essays, wrong formats of fonts, with mistakes in spellings and sentence structures.

She encouraged participants to read more books and magazines to improve the quality of writings in Malay.

The acting director also noted that there was less participation this year compared to the previous years, possibly because of the change in the competition format – participants did not really understand what was meant by non-creative and creative writings.

Non-creative writings, she said, emphasised on the density of content and its discourses in relaying ideas based on limited topics, while the latter is more towards sending moral messages through creativity and imagination.

“Realising this, the organiser had thought of the suitable actionsto overcome such confusion and InsyaAllah, (the DBP) will strive to attract more participations in future competitions,” said the acting director of DBP.

The Brunei Times