Samoa’s national, short story competition for students is about to get underway for 2017.
Powered by the Samoa Observer, the annual event is again supported and promoted by Samoa Stationery and Books as a major sponsor and Eveni through the Eveni Kids and Eveni Sport brands, as an associate sponsor.
Both companies, through their interest in education and their products make ideal partners in this promotion with the Samoa Observer.
From the coming week, entry forms and information will be available from the Samoa Observer, S.S.A.B. and Eveni outlets and visits to schools on both islands will commence.
This year the theme of stories is based on our environment and the eye catching poster by artist, Michael von Reiche is designed to urge the students to “get on board” to write a story.
“We want to give the students the chance to put forward their ideas in story form about the environment, climate change and what action they can personally take to ensure Samoa is protected and preserved for the generations to come.”
The competition, which is in its sixth year, continues to encourage story writing for primary and secondary schools throughout Upolu and Savai’i.
With the problems the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture faces with low success rates in English and Samoan literacy levels, Moore said it would be easy just to point the finger and then sit back and do nothing.
However as an organization whose core product is dependent on communication, the Samoa Observer and sponsors want to offer something positive to the problem.
“We want to commend and support the daily efforts of students, parents, teachers and the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture to improve literacy in both languages by offering rewards and publicity for excellence in writing,” said competition organiser, Marj Moore.
But the competition is not only for the country’s best writers.
There are also prizes for the schools which put in the most entries to see that teachers submit written work from all students.
Moore said it is important that all students practice story writing, not just those who are gifted in that area.
“All children have stories to tell and from day one at school, we should be allowing them time to do this. Initially it may be orally or in pictures and eventually the children will learn that those funny alphabet letters are grouped together to make a story too.”
“Like anything else, it is only by regular practice (writing) that students will improve and it is difficult to think of any career choice, which does not include competency in literacy.”
“Whether you want to be a farmer or a professional athlete, being literate is a must for your continued success in life.”
Moore said an added bonus for students, is an invitation to take part in the international Pacific Arts Association event which will be held at the National University of Samoa at the end of the year.
A selected group from the competition will form a Youth Panel on Thursday 30 November, the day of the event which is devoted to literature.
More information and entry forms will be posted in the Monday edition of the Samoa Observer.