2013 MMF ‘Education for Change’ Essay Competition for Nigerian Students

Deadline: August 16, 2013

The Murtala Muhammed Foundation (MMF) is pleased to invite students (university, polytechnic and secondary schools) to apply for the ‘Education for Change’ Essay competition, which is in line with the Foundation’s Public Policy Dialogue with focus on “Investing in Nigeria’s Future: Unlocking the Potential of our Next Generation of Leaders”. The top five shortlisted candidates for each category shall be invited for an interview and then the top three shall be awarded the prizes ranging from N50,000 to N150,000.

The aim of the competition is to empower the youths to become exemplary leaders that shall stir this great nation towards the path of sustainable development; the essay competition is focused on promoting critical thinking, harnessing ideas and developing the talents abilities gifts and skills inherent in the youth.


  • The competition is open to students from registered Federal and State Private Universities and Polytechnics of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • The competition is open to students from registered Public and Private Secondary Schools of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • All applicants must be legal residents of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
  • The candidate must be aged between 18-25 years for Polytechnics and Universities and between 12-17 years for secondary schools.
  • Relations and staff of the Murtala Muhammed Foundation are not eligible to apply.

Essay Requirement

  • The essay submitted must not be more than five hundred words (500 Words). Failure to comply with this shall lead to automatic disqualification.
  • All entries must be written in the English language.
  • The candidate must only apply based on one topic that should be submitted electronically. Multiple applications will be disqualified.
  • Falsification of any detail on the application shall nullify it.
  • The Applicants bio-data shall be used by the Foundation for publicity purposes.
  • All entries must be properly referenced, as plagiarism shall not be permitted.

Judging Criteria

Your essay shall be judged on seven criteria:

  • Content: How convincing are the main points and conclusion of the essay?
  • Organization: How logical is the flow of thoughts?
  • Relevance: Relationship between the essay and the topic?
  • Critical thinking: Ability to think creatively.
  • Grammar: Spelling and punctuation.
  • Reference: Ability to provide proper referencing from reliable sources.
  • Word Count: Adherence to the 500 words for the essay as stipulated.

Essay Topics and Prizes

University and Polytechnic

Topic: Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world. (Nelson Mandela)

  • First prize: N150,000
  • Second Prize: N100,000
  • Third Prize: N75,000

Secondary School

Topic: Education is that which remains when one has forgotten everything he learned in school. (Albert Einstein)


  • First Prize: N100,000
  • Second Prize: N75,000
  • Third Prize: N50,000

The awards shall be presented at the Investing in Nigeria’s Future: Unlocking the Potential of our Next Generation of Leaders Conference on 9th October, 2013 and all top three awardees shall be given a plaque and certificate of accomplishment and attend the pre-conference dinner with the Trustees’ of the Foundation.

For more information, click here.