Nelson and Pohuja cop second and third in regional essay competition

POSTED: 07/12/11 4:26 PM

GREAT BAY – Two St. Maarten students have been officially named as prize winners of an annual telecommunication essay contest organized by the Caribbean Association of National Telecommunication Organizations (CANTO). Christopher A. Nelson of St. Dominic High School got second prize while Dhanishka Pohuja of Learning Unlimited Preparatory School placed third. Jeanne Royer of Dominica State College got first prize, which is a package including airfare to Suriname for two and hotel accommodations and $500.

The essay contest was part of the observance of World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD) on May 17 under the theme: “Better life in rural communities with ICTs.” The winners were announced during CANTO’s annual Conference and Trade Show which is being held in Suriname.

CANTO representative, Tricia Balthazar, said students from 15 to 17 years from throughout the region were invited to write a 600 word essay expressing the contributions of ICT to their respective city, countries, island and life in general.

“We were very pleased with the response from St. Maarten, with the highest number of entries from St. Maarten that we have had in the five years of the essay competition,” Balthazar said as she thanked TelEm Group for circulating information about the competition and stimulating local interest in participation.

TelEm Group Chief Financial Officer, Helma Etnel, congratulated the winners, especially the 2nd and 3rd prize winners from St. Maarten schools.

“They should feel very proud for their achievement on behalf of themselves, their schools and for St. Maarten generally,” Etnel said.

A check to the amount of $500 was presented to Nelson shortly before the school closed for the summer holidays. Christopher will also receive his netbook computer, sponsored by a Canadian telecommunication company, WireIE, in time for the new school term.

St. Dominic School Principal Jose Sommers said Nelson, who wants to be a pilot, has changed his attitude towards his work 360%, making him a credit to the school and a fine example to his peers. The student, and budding artist, is also a winner of the Ministry of Justice’s logo competition held earlier this year.

The 3rd prize of $250, along with the Blackberry Smartphone package and sim card was presented to Learning Unlimited Preparatory School’s English teacher, Nick Marshall, for delivery to Pohuja, a student in his class. Pohuja is described by her teacher as quiet, focused and a skilled researcher with a bright future.

Both students were praised by their schools for their commitment to finishing their essay projects and submitting them for entry.

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