The John Wesley Methodist Junior High School-Accra, has been crowned champions of the European Union (EU) funded art competition among basic schools to inculcate the spirit of personal hygiene and observation of COVID-19 protocols among children.
According to the judges, which consist of representatives from EU, Environment360 and Ghana Education Service, originality of artwork, clarity of pictures, creativity and ability to communicate or explain the concept properly is what gave John Wesley JHS the competitive urge of its competitors.
They beat competition from their contenders Mamprobi Socco H/H Basic School, and Mamprobi Sempe-1 Basic School, who placed second and third, respectively. Police Depot 1&2 Basic School and Independence Avenue-2 Preparatory School.
The competition, which was dubbed “Fight Corona Together,” started in March 2021 with about 25 schools. The target was to unearth the creativity in the children by means of recycling plastic, textiles and paper waste into artwork that communicate COVID-19 safety protocols.
The competition was done in three rounds with a different theme expressed each week, including wash your hands, wear your mask and maintain social distancing. Schools produced art projects based on the theme and uploaded online to the EU Facebook and Instagram page for the general public to vote.
The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Diana Acconcia, was impressed by the creativity of students during the art competition and stated that the EU will continue to support Ghana in the fight against COVID-19 and the growth of circular economy.
“The EU will remain committed to create awareness on the promotion of a more sustainable and circular economy. This is not the first initiative in schools and it will not be the last. The EU will launch a circular economy contest in schools at the beginning of 2022. We expect to have schools all over the country participating in this innovative initiative,” she said.
According to the participating pupils, kind courtesy the fight corona together competition, they have learnt how to recycle plastics and the importance of recycling waste, how to educate their peers and create awareness, how to communicate with arts, how to work in team and the importance of adhering to COVID-19 protocol.
Founder and Executive Director, Environment360, the non-governmental organization (NGO) that implemented that project, Cordie Aziz-Nash, also expressed satisfaction with the creative talents exhibited and indicated that after this finally, there will be a donation of compost bins to the 25 schools that participated in the competition.
“I strongly believe that the skills that the children have gained during the art competition will encourage the children to see waste as a resource, while also helping them internalize key COVID-19 Protocols,” she said.
Programme Officer, Delegation of EU to Ghana, Susana Martins, indicated that by encouraging children to adopt eco-friendly behaviour, we will have a long-term impact on the environment and on society. “We need children to be the voice on the protection of the environment and I really hope that they transmitted their knowledge of a more environmental behaviour to their families and communities,” she said.