/ 17 October 2021

A STUDENT of Philippine Science High School-Western Visayas campus bagged the grand prize in an essay contest organized by the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization Tropical Medicine and Public Health Network.

Grade 12 student Altair Mizar Emboltura bested 210 entries in the Senior High School Category from member countries of SEAMEO TROPMED to claim the title.

Titled “A Thief, A Tyrant, A Teacher,” the essay discussed how the Covid19 pandemic significantly redefined the aspects of life.

It also tackled the role of the youth in fight against the disease.

“I believe in the power of the proactive youth. Our role in winning the battle against Covid19 includes inspiring, impacting, and speaking up not just for our fellow youth but for our whole community as well. However, all of our dedication, effort, and active participation would be put to waste if our leaders won’t listen to us,” Emboltura said.

“I call unto our leaders to not just hear us, but also listen to us because our voice matters, especially in this unprecedented time,” he added.

‘What Covid19 means to me” is the theme for this year’s essay contest  held during the 55th founding anniversary of SEAMEO TROPMED.

It focuses on the integration and inter-relation between Sustainable Development Goal # 3 ‘Good Health and Well-being’  and SDG # 4 ‘Quality Education’.

Among the objectives of the essay writing competition were to gather information related to Covid19 effect on students; motivate students to write and discuss their perspectives about the pandemic; promote listening to students’ voices; and document these perspectives for further use in school programs and policies.