By Frederick Philander WINDHOEK A total of 18 secondary schools in the Khomas Region and two nearby-situated rural towns on Saturday took part in the annual English Language Competition presented in the capital by the British Council. The competition consisted of three categories – essay and poetry writing as well as spelling, for Grades 11 and 12. “The British Council finds that interest in the English language is waning, and it is highly important to maintain the interest of the youth in the language. The purpose for creating and maintaining the competition is therefore a high priority for us,” states a formal declaration of the United Kingdom’s international organization for educational opportunities and cultural relations. For the poetry competition learners were afforded two hours to write poems on the theme, “Rain in Namibia” and were judged for structure, language clarity, cohesion, flow of ideas, creativity and content. School groups of six each were eligible to take part in the competition with a floating trophy for overall winners. The Director of the British Council Namibia, Patience Mahlalela, Dr Dolores Wolfaardt, a senior education officer in the Ministry of Education and Helen Vale of the English Department at the University of Namibia officiated at the event.