DATO Marsal Primary School and Chung Ching Primary School Seria emerged as the best participating schools in the Mekar-Juara Essay Writing Contest 2008 organised by the Brunei's Language and Literature Bureau
Syasya Nursyahirah Shamsul Badri from Dato Marsal Primary School with her essay titled Pengalaman ke Pulau Pelompong emerged as the winner of category "A", for primary school, while Michelle Lau Shu Qing from Chung Ching Secondary School with her essay titled Usaha ke Arah Memupuk Budaya Membaca di Kalangan Pelajar emerged as the winner of the category "B", for secondary school.
Both winners won a cash prize of $300 each and a Mekar-Juara volume during a prize awarding ceremony yesterday at Balai Sarmayuda, Language and Literature Bureau.
On hand to present the prizes and certificates was Dr Mataim Bakar, Director of Language and Literature Bureau.
Some 447 essays were received from 44 primary schools and about 203 essays from 21 lower secondary schools , but only 25 essays from each category were shortlisted as finalists.
Yesterday's event also included performance by 20 pupils from Rimba II Primary School who sang the Mekar-Juara Pelajar theme song , a brief on-stage act by staff of the bureau and a gulintangan performance by the Sixth Form Centre students.
First- and second-runner ups in category "A" were Norhaziqah Izzati Hj Rosli from Dato Marsal Primary School and Nur Afifah Muhammad Hazim, Anggerek Desa Primary School respectively.
In category "B"Dk Nur Azzimah Pg Shahipol Bahri from Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College and Muhammad Syafie Abdul Halim from PGGMB Secondary School were placed second and third places respectively.