Montserrat Secondary School Grad wins 12th OECS Essay Competition

Montserrat’s top high school graduate for 2012 has added another accolade to her list of accomplishments. Tiffannie Skerritt copped first place in the 14-16 age category for the 12th OECS Essay Competition, hosted by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB).

The ECCB announced how Tiffannie, formerly of the Montserrat Secondary School, and Al Flemming of the Charlestown Secondary School in the Federation of St Kitts and Nevis are the winners in the respective categories of the Essay Competition.

Tiffannie’s essay topic was “What Viable Steps Should OECS Countries Take to Stimulate Their Economies and Significantly Reduce National Debts?” In the piece, she shared her view that OECS countries can achieve this goal by diversifying their economies to non-traditional industries and advancing agricultural industries. She suggests that member governments must set and achieve clear financial targets, cut the public sector wage bill and develop a privatisation strategy in order to reduce their national debt.

Al Flemming, who wrote on the topic: “Discuss the Role of Young People in Shaping the Future of the OECS”, won the age 17 – 19 category. According to Al, “the single most important tool for optimal youth participation in the development process is quality education.” Hence, young people should take advantage of every educational opportunity. He adds that young people need to be more entrepreneurial, embrace the OECS Economic Union and engage in advocacy and volunteerism.

The OECS Essay Competition is aimed at encouraging critical thinking and raising the awareness of secondary school students of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) on issues of economic development. The competition, which is part of the ECCB’s community outreach programme, is open to secondary school students in the eight member countries of the ECCU.

Tiffannie receiving an iPad from Hon. Premier Reuben Meade earlier this year for being MSS’ top student.

Three hundred and twenty-one (321) students from schools across the ECCU submitted entries. The essays were assessed for content, soundness of points, logical development knowledge of the subject, command of language and presentation.

Andy Scott of Grenada’s Seventh Day Adventist Comprehensive School and Candace Greene of the Washington Archibald High School in St Kitts and Nevis were adjudged second and third place respectively in the age 14 – 16 category. While Tashaun Williams of the Washington Archibald High School and Theon Tross of the Charlestown Secondary School won second and third places respectively in the age 17 – 19 category.

The first place winners in each of the categories will each be awarded a $2,500 cash prize and a grant of $1,500 will be awarded to their respective schools. The students who placed second will receive $1,500 and their schools will be presented with a grant of $1,000; while the third place winners will each receive $1,000 and their schools a grant of $500.

The Antigua Girls High School will be awarded a grant of $500 for submitting the most entries. Certificates of recognition will also be awarded to students in each category for the essays which did not place among the top three but were adjudged the best in the respective countries.

2012 OECS Essay Competition – Best in Country Winners
Name of StudentCountry/School
Hackeem AlvesAnguilla – Albena Lake-Hodge Comprehensive School
Divinia ByranAntigua and Barbuda – Antigua Girls High School
Jade AlexanderCommonwealth of Dominica – Dominica Community High School
Kesan SamuelSaint Lucia – Vieux Fort Comprehensive Secondary School, Campus B
Shanea SolomonSt Vincent and the Grenadines – St Vincent Girls’ High School

Tiffannie Skerritt received a record 10 Grade ones at Caribbean Examination Council this past June. She graduated top of her class at the secondary school and is presently continuing her education at the Montserrat Community College.

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