"Many parents encourage their children to become masters in the fields that they [the parents] wish. They want their children to become doctors and engineers. It is very rarely that we hear parents encouraging their children to become smart, confident and respectful adults who would bring fame to their nation one day," he added.

Minister Karunathilake said the school plays an important role in helping students to interact positively.

Communication is one of the most vital aspects among them. Effective communication skills would help shape their viewpoint of the world and help them engage in a better relationship with the society. Misunderstandings and conflicts occur due to ineffective communication methods, where people find it hard to interchange their thoughts, opinions, or information, the minister said.

He noted that it is not an easy task for students to organise an islandwide competition and praised members of the Media Unit of Bandaranayake College for successfully facing the challenge.

"The school can introduce a child to a multitude of opportunities. The children have different talents. The teachers and parents should understand the interests and the talent of the children to broaden their horizons. All experiences gained at a school will help develop a child's interests, build self-esteem and shape the course of the child's academic and professional life," the minister said. Minister Karunathilake said during the past several years, the expected rights were not delivered to the media which led to many conflicts.

"But the students will be able to rejoice the full freedom of media in the future which would be further enhanced after the right to Information Bill is enacted."

Awards were presented to students representing different schools all over the island. The competitions were held in Sinhala, Tamil and English.

Gampaha Badaranayake College Principal Lal Dissanayake, teachers and parents participated in the event.