The Utility Congress and the Social Democratic Party, two simulated political parties, were declared winners of the maiden edition of the Ghana Institute of Journalism’s Level 300 Interclass Political Campaign Competition for the Regular and Weekend schools respectively.

The competition which was an initiative by the Institute’s Faculty of Communication and Social Sciences was purposed to help students engage in practical applications of Political Communication.

“Students will gain experience in various aspects of political communication such as speech writing, public speaking, campaign communication strategies, research, media strategy, coverage, and social media applications”, said the letter issued to the various participant classes by the faculty.

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Students of each level 300 class were expected to simulate a political party, choose a candidate to run for president of Ghana, organise a campaign event where the candidate gives a speech, cover the event, market the party and the candidate, and write a manifesto.

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In all, 10 political parties were created, five each from the Weekend and Regular schools.

From the Weekend school, there was the National Progressive Congress, the United Liberals Congress, the People’s Democratic Party, the Social Democratic Party and the Economic Freedom Party.

The Regular school one the other hand had the Conservative Party, the United People’s Party, the Progressive Democratic Alliance, the People’s Representative Party, and the Utility Congress.

The competition was held on the 22nd and 23rd of November for the Regular school and the Weekend school respectively under the theme: “Political Communication in Practice: Deepening and Engendering Participation among Young Communicators.”

Speaking at the event, Dr. Lawrencia Agyapong, a Political Communication lecturer at the Ghana Institute of Journalism and a proud Feminist, said she was elated that some of the simulated political parties had women as flag bearers, and running mates.

To her, that was a giant step in fostering and encouraging women’s participation in matters of politics.

The Member of Parliament of North Tongu, Sam Okudzeto Ablakwa, who was a judge at the ceremony, praised the faculty for their innovation and revealed he was impressed with the submissions of the various simulated political party flag bearers in the simulated rallies, town hall meeting and p[residential debate.

After a heated competition, the Utility Congress, led by Patrick Anyebunno emerged winners for the Regular School followed closely by the People’s Representative party led by Ishmael Lamptey.

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The Social Democratic Party, led by Samira Ibn Moro Mohammed also came first for the Weekend School with the People’s Democratic Party placing second.

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It was announced to joyous students on the durbar grounds that the Rector of the Institute had recommended to the head of the Faculty of Communication and Social Sciences, to increase the score allocated to the competition from 40 to 60.

This means level 300 students of the Ghana Institute of Journalism will have their political communication exam papers marked over 40 instead of 60.

The Interclass Political Campaign Competition is scheduled to be an annual event in the calendar of the Ghana Institute of Journalism.