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Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Essay Competition

The OECS Essay Competition, which the ECCB has been hosting since 1996, is geared towards stimulating critical thinking and discourse among the students of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) on issues that impact the socio-economic landscape of the region.

The competition is launched in November each year and is open to students of the ECCB member territories ages 14 to 19 years.

Students who wish to participate in the 2014 OECS Essay Competition, will be required to take an in-depth and critical look at the current OECS education system, young people’s constant engagement with social media and the development of the creative arts in the OECS.

Past Winners: 2011 | 2012

2014 OECS Essay Competition For ECCB Area Students
14 - 19 years


  • How can the current OECS education system be restructured to prepare young people to fulfil their aspirations?
  • Young people’s constant engagement with social media has the potential of advancing or stifling their advancement. Discuss.
  • Developing the creative talents of the young people of the OECS is critical to the advancement of the creative arts industry in the region. Discuss.

Guidelines for Preparing Your Essay (Booklet)
Essay Cover Sheet
(This must accompany your essay)
2014 Competition Poster

1st Prize EC$2,500 Grant - Student EC$1,500 Grant - School
2nd Prize EC$1,500 Grant - Student EC$1,000 Grant - School
3rd Prize EC$1,000 Grant - Student EC$500 Grant - School
The school with the most entries in the top 10 receives EC$500
Note: If a winning student has left school, the grant would be awarded to the school of his/her choice.
Terms of the Competition
The competition is open to students of the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) aged 14 - 19.
Essays must be between 750 and 1,000 words, and must be type-written, double line -spaced on letter size paper, with a separate cover sheet giving details of the name, age, and school of the participant.
Essays must be written on one of the topics listed above.
Essays will be judged in two categories: participants aged 14 - 16 and 17 - 19. The essays will be assessed for content and soundness of points (20), logical development (20), clarity (20), knowledge of the subject (25), command of language (10), presentation (5).
Where the student has left school, the grant will be awarded to the high school of his/her choice.
Children or dependents of ECCB staff are not eligible to enter the competition.
Prize winners may be asked to submit their birth certificates.
Essays must be submitted to the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, P O Box 89, Basseterre,
St Kitts and Nevis, or to an ECCB’s Agency Office located in each territory no later than Friday, 28 March 2014.
2013 Competition


  • In today’s economic climate, many school leavers are faced with high unemployment rates within the OECS countries. What can the youth do to turn this situation into opportunities for entrepreneurship?
  • Agriculture is a viable booster for OECS economies. Discuss
  • What strategies can OECS countries employ to ensure that young people become better acquainted with the benefits of the OECS Economic Union?

Winners: Age 14 - 16 Category
Nadia Browne
1st Place - Nadia Browne
Montserrat Secondary School, Montserrat

"Collaboration among youths can improve entrepreneurship prospects, increase capital and significantly reduce unemployment, as youth are creative and filled with a wealth of uncharted ideas." Read full text of essay
Jael Gumbs

2nd Place - Jael Gumbs
Washington Archibald High School, St Kitts and Nevis

"Seventeen months is the average time taken for young people to get a steady job. Rather than waiting, our young people can turn their passion or hobby into money by being creative and innovative. Thinking outside the box is a must!" Read full text of essay

Ajay Williams

3rd Place - Ajay Williams
Saint Lucia Seventh Day Adventist Academy, Saint Lucia

"One is quite aware that in order to have the OECS Economic Union fully integrated into the society of the OECS Countries, a continuous learning process is vital. On this basis, one suggests that studies about the Economic Union should be incorporated into the schools syllabi of the OECS Member States." Read full text of essay

Winners: Age 17 - 19 Category
Gernic Soudine

1st Place - Gernic Soudine
Sir Arthur Lewis Community College, Saint Lucia

Agriculture was once a major booster for OECS economies, generating large amounts of income and contributing to these economies national output.  However, to date, the levels of agriculture have greatly declined and though it contributes vital advantages to these economies it is insufficient as an economical booster." Read full text of essay

Clayticia Daniel

2nd Place - Clayticia Daniel
Charlestown Secondary and Nevis Sixth Form College, St Kitts and Nevis

A good initiative geared at improving such awareness is the development of an “OECS Youth Ambassador Program”. This would entail each OECS member state appointing two youth representatives who can work alongside their respective Heads of Government and travel with them to various OECS meetings."
Read full text of essay

Uta Trish Taylor

3rd Place - Uta Trish Taylor
Charlestown Secondary and Nevis Sixth Form College, St Kitts and Nevis

"The first step in helping to make agriculture a viable booster for OECS economies must be through a policy of aggressive education. Too many of our citizens, particularly our young people, view agriculture as a second rate, menial job as opposed to a legitimate, money making venture. " Read full text of essay


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