The Michael Manley Essay Competitions got under way in 2003 and were held annually from then until 2008, when the Foundation adjusted the timetabling of the event. This resulted in the judging being pushed back from the first term of the academic year (late 2009) to the second term (early 2010). Jamaica’s National Housing Trust funded the prizes for the 2010 contests. Due to resource constraints, the competitions were not held in 2011 or 2012, but a pledged contribution from the Yellow Bird Foundation of Canada has enabled the resumption of the project in early 2013.
The competitions are held in two categories – for secondary-level students in Jamaica and tertiary undergraduate students throughout the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Three prizes are offered in each category, but the judges from time to time have reduced the number of prizes where warranted by the standard of entries.
The panel of judges in 2010 comprised: Ms Daphne Comrie, former Principal of Kingston Technical High School (Chief); Mrs Pamela Kelly, Director of the Self-Access Learning Centre, University of Technology (UTECH); Mrs Doris Mayne, former Head of the English Department, Hillel Academy; Dr Ivy Mitchell, former Principal, Hampton High School for Girls; and Ms Schontal Moore, Assistant Lecturer in the Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy at the University of the West Indies (Mona).
The following have been the prizewinners over the years.
|Year||Subject||1st Prize||2nd Prize||3rd Prize|
|2003||No Award||No Award||No Award|
|2004||“How can we foster a greater spirit of self-reliance in Jamaica as part of the process of nation-building?”||Shana Lee Cawley Glenmuir HS||Zakiya McKenzie St Andrew HS||No award|
|2005||“A social contract would contribute positively to Jamaica’s national development.” Discuss||Occero Fuller Camperdown HS||Special prize to 12-year-old L’Jay Perry Campion College|
|2006||“The islands of the Caribbean are perhaps the perfect example in today’s world of the effects of colonial economics.” – Michael Manley, Jamaica: Struggle in the periphery. Discuss||Aisha Porter-Christie Holy Childhood High School||Alex Shirley Muschett High School||Toniann Jones York Castle High School|
|2007||“Democracy means far more than the right to vote every five years. It means the right to participate in every aspect of national and community life. The people must believe that they can take part.” — Michael Manley, Retirement Broadcast, March 1992. Discuss"||Cyrina Maxwell Papine High School||Daniella Manning Waterford High School||No award|
|2008||“In countries like Jamaica, women are becoming the best scholars and the most able and dedicated administrators, yet they continue to suffer disadvantages in terms of the law and in economic opportunity.”
— Michael Manley, “The Poverty of Nations”. Discuss
|Donia Fuller Campion College||Elton Johnson Cornwall College||Khamal Clayton Cornwall College|
|2010||“Housing is the heartbeat of human development. All social progress begins in the home” – Michael Manley, 1975 Budget Debate. Discuss||Nishi Barclay Waterford High School||Special prize – Melissa Douglas Grade 7 student, St Andrew HS||No award|
|Year||Subject||1st Prize||2nd Prize||3rd Prize|
|2003||“How can Commonwealth Caribbean states survive under the doctrine of globalisation?”||Jermaine McCarthy
UWI, CAve Hill
Edna Manley College
|2004||“Successful Caribbean regional integration can be achieved only in the context of wider South-South cooperation.” Discuss||Latoya Richards UWI, Mona||Marlene Segre UWI, Mona||No award|
|2005||“Failure to focus on the social implications of globalisation will have serious consequences for the development of the Caribbean.” Discuss||Cindy Simon of The Bahamas UWI, Mona||Evette Smith Inst. For Theological & Leadership Dev’ment||Devon Wilson UWI, Mona|
|2006||“The concept of the nation state as an arena for independent economic development is becoming increasingly obsolete.” – Michael Manley, "The Poverty of Nations”. Discuss||Joel Karl Richards of St Vincent & the Grenadines
|Marlon Moore UWI, Mona||Shana Lee Cawley UWI, Mona|
|2007||“Where political sovereignty has been conceded but economic power remains untouched, equality remains a myth, social justice proves unattainable and even freedom becomes an ambiguous phenomenon.”
— Michael Manley, International Conference in Support of the Peoples of Zimbabwe & Namibia, May 1977. Discuss
|Quaine Palmer UWI, Mona||Zandrea Banton UWI, Mona||No award|
|2008||"The idea of equality is the only enduring principle by which mankind may be guided in the conduct of national and international affairs. " –. Michael Manley, Address to the 27th Session of the UN General Assembly. Discuss||Opal Skerritt Montserrat Community College||Tanishe Wade-Meghross Shortwood Teachers College||Monique Long University of the West Indies, Mona|
|2010||“Self-reliance, equality and democracy are the objectives towards which we must strive. Without these we cannot build a just society” – Michael Manley, “The Politics of Change” . Discuss||Christopher Worrell College of the Bahamas||Monique Long University of the West Indies Mona||No award|