Campion College student, Sherraine Phillips, was named the winner of the Access to Information (ATI) Unit’s National Essay Competition on Thursday(April 2).
She won the competition with an essay on the topic, ‘Why is the Access to Information Act 2002 important to Jamaica’s democracy, and how can it be used to improve your community?’
The competition was launched last September, with entries being invited from high school students in fourth to sixth form.
From left: Sherraine Phillips of Campion College, Maxine Nelson of Ardenne High and Natassja Douse of Glenmuir High show off their trophies after placing first, second and third, respectively, in the Access to Information Unit’s National Essay Competition. The trophies and other prizes were presented during an award ceremony at the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports on Thursday(April 2).
Public Education Manager at the ATI Unit, Tricia Cameron-Anglin, said Phillips’ essay was the shortest received, but the skill and craftsmanship in the way the ideas were articulated “were immaculate and perfectly understood.”
She said that the unit would, at a later date, publish an edited version of the winning essay.
For her essay, Phillips received a trophy, $10,000 and other prizes. Maxine Nelson of Ardenne High School, Kingston, who placed second, received a trophy, $7, 000 and other prizes, while Natassja Douse of Glenmuir High School, Clarendon, received a trophy, $5,000 and other prizes for placing third.
The presentations were made during an awards ceremony at the Ministry of Information, Culture, Youth and Sports, Thursday(April 2).
The Public Relations Manager for the ATI Unit, Damian Wilson, said the unit would be launching another essay competition for tertiary level students.
He also outlined that the unit has also embarked on a number of other initiatives to increase awareness of the Act. These include the launch of its Facebook page and a channel on YouTube. He disclosed that the unit is getting ready to launch an advertising campaign on Jamaica Urban Transit Company(JUTC) buses, and on liquid crystal display (LCD) screens in supermarkets.
The ATI Unit spearheads the implementation and administration of the ATI Act, which was passed in June 2002. The Act provides the public with a general right of access to official documents held by public authorities.