Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Winners of Second July 22nd Miss Pegeant

Six people have emerged winners of the 2nd edition of the Miss July 22nd Scholarship Pageantry. They are: Isa Jarra, student of the Management Development Institute (MDI) came out first from the tertiary institution category, followed by Neneh S. Borry from and Ya Awa Njie, both from The Gambia College.
At the senior schools category, Rohey Njie of Gambia Senior Secondary School emerged first, followed by Fatou Khan from SOS Senior and Fatou A. Drammeh also from Gambia High School.
Speaking at the event which was held last Thursday at the Tripoli Hall, Jerma Beach Hotel, The Gambia’s minister for Basic and Secondary Education, Honourable Fatou Lamin Faye said the Miss July 22nd Scholarship Pageantry is a platform for improving academic excellence, communication skills and general knowledge among Gambian girls, and not otherwise.
According to the minister who was speaking while giving her opening remarks, the event was initiated and supported by the president, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhagie Yahya AJJ Jammeh in order to give opportunities to a wide range of Gambian girls to access scholarship. She said the event was initiated a year ago when participants were drawn from all the regions of the country.
“We always seek to clarify. This pageant is not meant to encourage lewdness, desecrate the sacredness of the feminine body, nor is it intended to expose our very vulnerable and precious female students to any type of social danger,” she asserted.
While she noted that pageantry is associated with beauty, as other pageants tend to connote, she emphasized that to appreciate this event, beauty needs to be conceived of in broader terms.
According to her, beauty does not pertain to only facial looks or body movements, shape and size. However, it transcends such superficial characteristics, and goes further to embody what could be referred to as a person’s character, personality or persona in addition to all the other attributes that make decent and normal persons acceptable and integrated into the society.
She established that the scholarship pageant thus seeks to dig deep down into the personalities and potentials of the youth within the educational system in order to showcase them, and ultimately smoothen their development and maturation process.
“It is the development of the inner strength and the inner worth, complemented by the outward representation of their inner self that culminates into strengthening our human resource base, thereby making us productive and useful to our various family units, communities and society at large,” she said.
Speaking further, Hon. Faye posited that this means that the pageant has to do with reinforcing those aspects of the learners that only blossom when detected early enough and nurtured to maturity before they are dissipated.
“However, the art of being articulate, creative and self-assertive in a manner that is bereft of arrogance and disrespect are salient characteristics that need to be implanted, sustained and cemented in the Gambian youth,” she said, adding that in some instances, cultural practices and certain modes of socializing children into adult roles inhibit their potential to the point that many children under-perform in their early years, and this, she said, manifests itself in adult life in various forms of mediocrity.
She also pointed out that Gambian youths need to be assisted to be confident and be able to handle situations adeptly whilst counterbalancing this with respect, responsibility and honour which should be ensured to prevail.
At this point, she commended president Jammeh, the founder and chief patron of the pageant for the innovative thought of organizing this laudable competition which in real terms seeks to complement government efforts within the education sector.
According to the Education minister, the pageant is intended to lead to the sponsorship of young talented Gambian students in order to guarantee them quality education and to ensure that they realize their full potentials.
While she said that the president had initially promised to sponsor nine of the best contestants from three categories of Upper Basic and Senior Secondary Schools as well as the tertiary institutions that completed at the first edition, she noted that he eventually sponsored all the 100 participants, noting that one of them has just completed her studies in the United Kingdom with exceptionally good grades in Electrical and Electronic engineering and is back in the country waiting return to pursue a BSC Honours degree in Aeronautic Technology in September 2010.

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