DYON – Secret to winning

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Natabua High School Best Writer award winner, Asena Tuilevu and the HOD Language teacher, Elenoa Tamani (right). Picture: MATILDA SIMMONS

NATABUA High School student, Asena Nagasau Tulevu, was one of several students who won Best Writer award in the Kaila! Design Your Own Newspaper (DYON) competition.

She was given a cash cheque last week.

The Ra, Togavere native couldn’t hide her smile as she talked about her passion for writing and contributing to their school newspaper.

“I wrote about a fellow student who is a Tuvalu citizen and the reason she came over to study in Fiji. I felt I could share her story about her island which is quite vulnerable to climate change,” she shared.

The aspiring political lawyer looks forward to taking part in the DYON this year and hopes to make an impact with her writing.

Head of the school’s Language Department, Elenoa Tamani says it was their strategy of bringing in the younger students that helped them win prizes.

“The DYON is an opportunity for our students to explore their writing and research skills – skills that are necessary for their school work and that is why we participate every year and we have won something for the school including the students that have participated,” she said.

“Most of the editors of the school newspaper have gone on to study in universities overseas and they are doing very well.

“My strategy for recruiting students is they have to start from Year 9, that is how you can train them and build up their writing, research and interviewing skills. Once they learn from Year 9, it’s easy for them to participate every year, the teacher doesn’t need to train the younger ones, the students are there.”

On how they choose their stories, Mrs Tamani says it is wholly done by their students with guidance by her.

“The students came up with the number of issues in their community, we just took our cue from the Kaila! journalists who helped us.

You have to find something that is not in the mainstream news and a lot of those news stories happens in our school and with families.

My advice would be for them to focus on stories that impact the community and allow their students to explore their writing skills.”

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