The John Wesley Methodist Junior High School (JHS) in Accra has been adjudged winners of the “Fight Corona Together – Art Competition” organised by the European Union (EU).
It was to raise awareness on Covid-19 protocols with the use of recycled materials such as plastic and textiles. The school was awarded a certificate of participation with each participant receiving a medal.
The first runner up, the Mamprobi Socco H/H Basic School, and the second runner up, the Mamprobi Sempe 1 Basic School, also had certificates of participation and medals.
Programme Officer of the European Union (EU), Madam Susana Martins, said the competition, which started online, had received great feedback from their followers and schools, with people voting for their favourite arts during the three rounds of the competition.
She said they collaborated with the Ghana Education Service (GES) for the schools’ selection and took into account sustainability criteria to ensure the continuity of the actions after the end of the project.
The competition, she said, was introduced by the European Union Delegation to Ghana as part of its “EU and Ghana Green and Healthy Together” project to raise awareness on preventive measures to reduce community transmission of Covid-19.
It was also to promote good practices for the protection of the environment through recycling, reducing and re-using waste in schools.
“It is not the first time that the European Union is working with schools in Accra. We will continue contributing to a greener and healthier environment in schools, through the development of awareness and education campaigns, not only related to Covid but also related to environmental protection and climate change,” she said.
In 2022, she said the EU would organise a Circular Economy competition among schools at the national level, with a quiz and a TV show where schools from different regions would be invited to participate.
Madam Martins said: “We will promote this initiative before the end of this year and we expect to have an active and participative collaboration of Ghanaian schools.”
She advised the participants and their teachers to continue to stay safe, wash their hands, keep social distancing, use a re-usable mask and be the messengers of all the practices learnt.
The Founder and Executive Director of Environment360, a non-governmental organisation, Mrs Cordie Aziz-Nash, which supported the event, said the schools were marked based on the relevance of the theme of the artwork, originality of the picture and the visual appeal.
She said there would be education in each school for a better understanding of how to use waste segregation bins and how to do compost.
“Waste is not waste if you are creative, it can be used again to make something beautiful,” she said.
Advisor to the Accra Metropolitan Chief Executive, Desmond Appiah, advised the pupils to pick lessons from the event and implement them.
He commended the organisers, teachers, and pupils for their active participation in the competition.
A pupil and presentation leader of the winning school, Genevieve Quaye said they had learnt several lessons from the competition, citing teamwork as a real boost.
She said they had started segregating their waste at school and home, putting into practice what they had been taught.
Madam Rahimatu Hafiiza Obeng, a teacher, who led participants of the winning school, said they were grateful to God for seeing them through the competition.
“With the help of my pupils, headteacher and circuit supervisor, we were able to collaborate and produce this artwork, it was not really easy sometimes; we had to stay back after classes, sometimes on weekends just to bring the best ideas into the task that we have been assigned to,” she said.
She said the pupils brought the ideas for the artwork with the teachers supporting them in the production.
The EU Green and Healthier School Programme is a year-long one implemented by Environment360, an NGO that specialised in creating circular programmes and campaigns in schools and communities to reduce the risk of COVID-19.