Rights group, Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has partnered government to launch a national schools essay writing competition aimed at exposing and curbing the scourge of child marriages in the country.
The national schools essay writing competition, whose topic is “Child marriages, causes and effects. Towards ending child marriages by 2030” and is organised by ZLHR and Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, will be held in September 2022 and is targeted at high school students in all non-examination classes, namely Forms 1, 2, 3 and 5.
It is expected that the national schools essay competition, which is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, will address questions such as “the meaning of child marriages, the causes and impact of child marriages, the strategies and laws which government put in place to end child marriages, governmental institutions and non-governmental organisations that are working to end child marriages and recommendations to end child marriages.
Students will conduct their research, write and submit their essays by 28 September 2022 to their schools for onward transmission to the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education, which will administer the marking of the essays.
The first competition will be held in Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces while the second competition will be held in Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces.
Schools in Manicaland and Masvingo provinces will not be participating in this year’s edition of the national schools essay competition as they were already targeted in a pilot competition held in 2021.
Winners of the national schools essay writing competition will be honoured during a prize giving ceremony to be held on 17 October 2022.
The national winner from the two competitions (Matabeleland North, Matabeleland South and Midlands provinces) and (Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West and Mashonaland Central provinces) will receive US$150 in prize money.
There will also be regional prizes, where winners for the first prize will get US$100, US$50 for the second prize and US$25 for the third prize.
Consolation prizes such as pens and rulers will be given to participants of the national schools essay writing competition.