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The Minister of Finance & the Public Service

The Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, is Jamaica's Minister of Finance and the Public Service and is Member of Parliament for St Andrew Northwestern. ...

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Access to Information National High School Essay Competition 2016

Access to Information National High School Essay Competition 2016
File Size:
5.68 MB
02. Nov 2016
705 x

The Access to Information Unit in the Office of the Prime Minister invites High School students in Jamaica to participate in its annual National High School Essay Competition.

Topic:                   “The Access to information Act (2002) is playing a significant role in improving accountability and transparency in Jamaica.” Discuss

Period:                 September 28, 2016 – January 31, 2017

Launch:                 September 28, 2016

When Due:          January 31, 2017

Award of Prizes:  Winners will be announced in the month of February, 2017. Prizes will be awarded in March, 2017.

Who:                    All Registered High school students.  

Purpose:              This contest is sponsored by the Access to Information Unit and the Access to Information Advisory Stakeholders Committee and is designed to give Jamaican youth the opportunity to become more aware of the Access to Information Act (2002)

Essay Length:      1600-1800 words typed and double-spaced. (Title, footnotes and bibliography are not included in the final word count).

How to Enter:      Entries must be sent to:

Access to Information Unit,

5-9 South Odeon Avenue, Kingston 10

Phone: 968-8282

Fax: 926-9491


Prizes:                  The essay competition will award first, second and third place winners with $50,000, $30,000 and $20,000 respectively. The winners will also be presented with ATI Unit Trophy, ATI Advisory Stakeholders Committee Trophy and ATI Association of Administrators Trophy.

Judges:                A panel of at least three judges but no more than five judges will be selected. It will comprise representatives of the ATI Stakeholders Committee, Access to Information Association of Administrators, the ATI Unit and any other judge as decided by the ATI Unit.

Essay Contest Rules

  1. 1.General Rules
    1. 1Each contestant may submit only one essay.
    2. 2Each essay must reflect the contestant’s own research, writing and original thinking.
    3. 3Any quotations or copyrighted material used in the essay must be properly identified. Failure to identify non-original material will result in disqualification.
    4. 4The Access to Information Unit will have the right to edit, publish or otherwise duplicate any essay entered into the contest without payment to or permission from the author.
    5. 5Essays must be written in Standard English. Font size is to be 12 point in Times New Roman. Paper size should be either A4 or standard letter size.
    6. 6Family members or persons within the same household of Access to Information Unit staff members are ineligible to participate.
    7. 7All entrants must have a valid Taxpayer Registration Number (TRN) and winners will have to submit same to be awarded prizes.
  1. 2.Contest Rules
  1. 1Failure to write on the official topic will result in disqualification.
  2. 2Each entry must begin with a title page containing: topic, number of words, writer’s name, address, telephone number, name of school.
  3. 3Essays must be type-written and double-spaced.
  4. 4Essays must contain 1600- 1800 words. Every word of the essay is counted. This does not include the title page, bibliography, or footnotes identifying non-original material.
  5. 5Each page of the essay must be numbered starting with first page of the essay, not the title page. The numbers must be centered at the bottom of each page.
  1. 3.Acknowledgment of Rules
  1. 1The submission of an essay constitutes full and complete acknowledgement and acceptance of these rules. The decision of the Access to Information Unit and the Access to Information Advisory Stakeholders’ Committee is final.
  1. 4.Judging

A double-blind scoring system will be used to judge essays submitted. This system is designed to make the process of judging as easy and impartial as possible.

  • Each judge will receive copies      of the essays from which the names and schools of the students have been      removed.
  • The panel of experts selecting      the three winners will read and score each essay individually.
  • The total points for each of the      essays will be added together, and the essay with the highest cumulative      points wins.
  • Judges will at no time prior to      the announcement of winners, discuss the essays or the process of scoring.
  1. 5.Point System

The following system will be used to judge the essays:

  • Comprehension = 0 – 30 points

How well does the essay reflect a thorough comprehension of the issues involved in the essay topic?

  • Organization = 0 – 25 points

Does the argument follow a logical and easily understood progression? Does corroborating evidence support the essay’s main points?

  • Creativity = 0 – 25 points

Use of diverse resources, including interviews; Creative angle on the issue

  • Writing = 0 – 10 points

Correct grammar, spelling, punctuation, concise language.

  • Adherence      to contest rules = 0      – 10 points

Compliance to format and length rules

Total Points = 100 points

  1. 6.Other Terms and Conditions

6.1     Essays will not be returned. They become the property of the ATI Unit. The Unit may reprint essay in part or in full and use as it deems necessary. Credit will however be given to the author.

6.2     The administration of the contest including determining the eligibility of a participant or essay, standard of essays and awarding of prizes is within the absolute discretion of the ATI Unit.

6.3     The ATI Unit assumes no responsibility for loss, delayed or incomplete entries as a result of postal delays or technical malfunctions.  

  1. 7.Awards

First-place:             ATI Trophy and $50,000 cash

Second-place:         ATI Advisory Stakeholders Committee Trophy and $30,000 cash

Third-place:            ATIAA Trophy and $20,000 cash