Press Release – Ministry of Natural Resources Tony Shields Memorial Essay Competition 2019 Report

Ministry of Natural Resources
Tony Shields Memorial Essay Competition 2019

The Ministry of Natural Resources’ Tony Shields Memorial Essay Competition was launched on January 30th, 2019. This initiative was an effort by the Ministry and the mining community, specifically the Guyana Gold and Diamonds Association (GGDMA) to keep ever-green the stellar contribution of the late Tony Shields to the mining sector and the overall development of Guyana, and to more importantly ensure the discourse on our country’s natural resource sector, its importance and paramountcy to our national patrimony is distinct and cascades across all educational levels.

Much enthusiasm was evident by students, as we received a total of 41 submissions in the three categories, Primary, Secondary, and University. In the primary category, 11 essays were submitted, while 14 and 16 were received in the secondary and university categories respectively.

The categories:

The University of Guyana students were invited to make submissions between 1500-2000 words discussing – How can the development of new mining technologies and regulations improve the efficiency of mining and reduce its environmental impact?

The plethora of Secondary level students across Guyana’s 10 administrative regions were tasked with dissecting in 1000-1500 words – What is a green mining concept and how can it be implemented or further implemented in Guyana?

And in the Primary School category, in 500-1000 words, students were asked to write an essay on – How can mining become more sustainable and energy efficient?

The students had a period of 25 days for submission. The review and appraisal process were transparent, inclusive and credible. The three-member team comprised of Ms. Rosalie Seepaul, a lecturer, Ms. Shondell France from the Ministry of Natural Resources and Mr. William Woolford of the GGDMA.

Each essay was graded for a maximum of 300 marks. The marking rubric examined and assessed ideas, knowledge and research, comprehension, relevance of topic, discussion, organization and structure, evidence supporting argument materials and writing style including spelling, punctuation and grammar.

A synopsis of the reviewed essays

Primary school essays

  • There was evidence of
  • Some essays weak point was on credibility
  • The sentence structure, language and written expression did not correlate with the age- range of students.
  • While Some writers had good ideas, the organisation was weak and further compounded by syntax sentences.

Secondary school essays

  • Evidence of excessive plagiarism
  • While some writers had good ideas, the were tangential in their articulation
  • Poor evidence of

University essays

  • Evidence of plagiarism – Given the salience of referencing at this level, some essays were disqualified from the
  • Some points were tangential
  • Poor delivery of expression of ideas

After review, discussions and consensus by the review team, there were four successful applicants in the Primary Category: one first place, a tie for second two second places and one third place. In the Secondary category, there were four winners,  two persons being awarded first place, one person awarded second place and one person awarded third place. Three persons were successful in the University category.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and the GGDMA proudly congratulates all students for their participation. We are most proud of your confidence, prowess and determination.

Malcolm X, the social rights activist once said, “Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.”

It is on this platform this initiative was launched. To invest and support the development of our most important asset, our youths and to prepare them for the future by opening and stretching their critical thinking bandwidth and increasing their acumen.

We look forward to working with students and hope to see similar interest in our Youth in Natural Resources Apprenticeship programme 2019.




1st– Rachel Davis – 224.5 – Trip to Iwokrama with one Parent along with book vouchers

2nd – Arysh Raghunauth – 197 – Electronic Tablet

2nd – Michael Leonard II – 197 – Electronic Tablet

3rd – Zalika McAlmont – 194 – School Supplies assistance for one school year


1st – Johanna Hamilton – 222 – Laptop Computer

1st – Kendra Trotman – 222  – Laptop Computer

2nd – Ambra Lindie – 210.5 – Electronic Tablet

3rd  – Kushi Dwarka – 205 – Smartphone


1st – Sarah Bovell – 199 – One year tuition at the University of Guyana

2nd – Akilah Noble – 198 – Electronic Tablet

3rd – Sasha Ramsarran – 189 – Smartphone 

First Place Secondary – Johanna Hamilton (Laptop computer)

First Place Primary – Rachel Davis (Trip to Iwokrama + Book vouchers)

First Place Secondary – Kendra Trotman (Laptop Computer)

First Place University – Sarah Bovell (1 Year Tuition)

Second Place Primary – Arysh Raghunauth (Electronic Tablet)

Second Place Primary – Michael Leonard – (Electronic Tablet)

Second Place Secondary – Ambra Lindie (Electronic Tablet)

Second Place University – Akilah Noble (Electronic Tablet)

Third Place Primary – Zalika McAlmont (1 year school supplies Assistance)

Third Place Secondary – Kushi Dwarka (Smartphone)





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