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Inspiring Students to Aim High

by Eddie Rayner

Dunecrest American School has announced that Maya El-Chal, an IBDP candidate at the school, has been shortlisted for the prestigious John Locke Institute 2020 Essay competition. Ms. El-Chal competed with almost 3,000 applicants from around the world; professors from Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Harvard and Chicago adjudicated the competition. 

The John Locke Institute is an independent educational organisation that runs various residential courses, revision seminars, essay competitions and events for exceptional students in Oxford, Princeton and Washington DC.  It aims to “inspire students to aim high and equip them with the skills they need to achieve their goals”. Revered as the grandfather of Classical Liberalism, John Locke is a 17th century Oxford philosopher, political scientist, economist and medical doctor who carried tremendous influence in both the United States and his birthplace, England. The institute aims to honour its patron’s philosophy of education: a teacher “should remember that their business is not so much to teach all that is knowable, as to raise in [the student] a love and esteem of knowledge; and to put them in the right way of knowing and improving themselves”.

Attaining the honour in the history category, Ms. El-Chal’s essay was about whether or not a state’s strength is a prerequisite or an obstacle for economic growth. Ms. El-Chal included several case studies from past governments as well as current global issues. Countries specifically highlighted within the essay included Lebanon, Japan, the Maldives, and Nigeria.