IOM organizes First Quiz Competition for Schools on Migration
By Alfred Fornah
From the 17-18 November, four schools engaged in the first inter senior secondary school quiz competition on migration in Bo City, Southern Sierra Leone organised by IOM
The objective of the quiz competition was to engage with young people in discouraging irregular migration, promote safe and informed based migration decision, whilst amplifying the benefits of technical and vocational education as an alternative to irregular migration.
The competition was organized by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Youth Affairs, Pleasant Children’s Foundation and the West Africa Youth Network for Peace, Education and Economic Development (WAYNPEED-SL).
“The quiz is a platform to assess the level of understanding of students and to educate them on migration topics and issues,” said Brima Bendu, National Focal Person for the Migrants as Messengers project in Sierra Leone. “It is good for young people to understand the linkage between migration, education and development; how migration can benefit them especially if it is done in a safe and orderly manner,” he added.
The initiative started with a training organized for teachers last month in Bo District. Upon completion of the training, participants conducted a short mentorship programme for their students to prepare them for the competition.
Four schools, including the Bo Government Secondary School, Queen of the Rosery School, Ahmadiyya Muslim Secondary School and Methodist High School, participated in the elimination stage of the quiz competition but only two schools made it to the last round. In the finals, Bo Government Secondary school won with 74 points whilst Methodist High School came second with 48 points.
“I am very pleased to participate and represent my school, and I am happy that we won the competition. I see the programme to be very essential to educate young people on migration,” said Hajie Rogers, Student of Bo School and the best quizzer of the competition. “The programme created a platform for us to understand the benefits of migration, especially when it is well managed. So, when I go back to my school and community, I will serve as an ambassador to engage my peers on safe migration,” he added.
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Maama Y. Kallon, a student at Methodist High School, called on IOM to replicate such a programme in other schools so that they too would benefit from the vast knowledge gained during the quiz competition on migration.
Speaking during the closing sessions, Cyrus Chrispin Ngegba, Deputy Director of Youths at the Ministry of Youth Affairs (MoYA) commended all the participating schools for displaying an immense wealth of knowledge about migration. “The schools performed brilliantly, and the quiz was also informative for the audience,” said Cyrus Ngegba. “On behalf of MoYA, I want to reaffirm our commitment to continue to work with IOM, especially to raise awareness among young people about the dangers of irregular migration, through the Migrants as Messengers and TVET projects,” he added.
The event also included other activities such as the screening of short videos and documentaries to students to illustrate dangerous migratory routes in the Sahara Desert and the realities people face in crossing the Mediterranean Sea through irregular means. A live broadcast of the quiz was hosted by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation Radio to reach as many people as possible in Bo District. IOM also encouraged the schools to establish migration clubs to deliver peer-to-peer education on safe migration.
The quiz competition was successfully delivered within the framework of the Migrant as Messengers Project funded by the Foreign Ministry of the Netherlands and the IOM’s Technical Education and Vocational Training Project supported by the Government of Japan.