“A Commonwealth for Peace” | Commonwealth Essay Competition 2017

  • March 2, 2017
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1024 219 Cyprus Youth Council

The Royal Commonwealth Society (RCS) is  running for the 134th year the Commonwealth Essay competition for young people. The Competition which is run in partnership with Cambridge University Press gives young people, in Commonwealth countries and with diverse backgrounds,  a platform to express their views about the world and their dreams for the future. Cyprus is a member of the Commonwealth since 1961. This year’s theme builds on the 2016 theme  “An inclusive Commonwealth” . The essay topics ask young writers to explore peace at every level, from the personal to the political to the pan-commonwealth.

The RCS is an international charity founded in 1868  with  a rich history of nurturing the creative talents of young people around the Commonwealth, promoting literacy and expression by celebrating excellence and imagination. Every year thousands of young people respond to global challenges through their participation in the essay competition. In 2015 the competition was renamed ‘The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition’, in honor of the Queen’s role as Head of the Commonwealth and Patron of the Royal Commonwealth Society.

2017 Essay Competition

The Essay Competition (Junior and Senior) is open for entries, and submissions can be made until 1st May 2017. The Competition is open to all individuals who are nationals of, or are living in a Commonwealth country, aged under 18.

Entrants to the  Competition are judged in two groups, junior (under 14 years, born after 1st May 2003) and senior (14-18 years born between 2nd May 1998 and 1st May 2003).They can submit an essay, poem, letter, folk tale or script. The competition offers young people the opportunity to think about different aspects of the theme.

Junior category: (i) What is in your Toolbox for Peace? (ii) My peaceful place (iii) How can children and young people come together to build a peaceful society? (iv) “Peace cannot be learnt from a book or from religion. You have to reach out and touch the nations” How does this relate to the commonwealth?

Senior category (i) Peace (ii) Should you fight for peace? (iii) Kofi Annan said ‘Education is, quite simply, peace-building by another name” Do you agree? Answer with reference to your country and/or the Commonwealth. (iv) What is the cost of peace?

Full terms and conditions are available at  https://www.thercs.org/youth-and-education/the-queens-commonwealth-essay-competition/

Recruiting Judges:

The RCS is looking to grow its international  team of judges. The essay competition utilizes an online platform for the purposes of accessing the essays to judge and for recording decisions. Judging is undertaken on a voluntary basis. To be eligible, candidates should inter-alia, have an interest in the Commonwealth and/or international affairs and be available for a total of 25-30 hours between 15th May to 26th June (6 weeks), in order to judge 100+ scripts online. Teachers, university students and other persons interested in applying may refer to the RCS website for more information https://thercs.org/youth-and-education/the-queens-commonwealth-essay-competition/2017-judging/

I would like to note  that in 2016 there were approximately 13,500 entries from nearly every Commonwealth country whereas  in 2015 there were 13,100 entries. Finally I would like to gently  remind  readers  of the amazing success in 2015,  of Paraschos Cant, a 16 year old Cypriot student at Pascal English School, Limassol  who was named Senior winner in the Competition with his winning entry “ An open letter to the worlds’ leaders”.