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Finals of the 3rd Annual National Secondary Schools’ Debate Competition, 2016

For the second consecutive year, The St Michael School emerged victorious over Queen’s College in the finals of the 3rd Annual National Secondary Schools’ Debate Competition. The Deighton Griffith Secondary School placed third. The competition hosted by the Barbados Accreditation Council was held on Tuesday, November 22, 2016.  The moot for debate was “A National Qualifications Framework makes life-long learning more appealing”.  

Senator Harcourt Husbands, Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology & Innovation (centre), Mr Cedric Murrell, Chairman, Barbados Accreditation Council (left), Mrs Sharon Alleyne, Executive Director (Acting), Barbados Accreditation Council presenting the Challenge Plaque to the winning team members of The St Michael School (front row from left), Dia Parris, Leader, Nicholas Brathwaite, Seconder and Benjamin Pires, Cross Examiner.

It was a keenly contested competition between with team Proposition, Queen’s College and team Opposition, The St. Michael School. After the judges’ deliberations The St Michael School amassed a total of 277 points which was ten (10) points more than their opponent and was declared the winners!

Team Proposition, Queen’s College (left) consisted of (from right) Nia Marshall, Leader; Artie Samdass, Seconder and Christine Carmichael, Examiner; and team Oppostion, The St Michael School consisted of (from left) Dia Parris, Leader; Nicholas Brathwaite, Seconder and Benjamin Pires, Examiner.  Centre: Moderator, Ms Katrina Ifill of the Barbados Accreditation Council.

This year’s debate was the BAC’s contribution to Barbados’ celebration of 50 years of Independence and the Council sought to make it bigger and better by including a semi-final round for increased competitiveness and transparency.

In his Remarks, Mr Cedric Murrell, Chairman of the BAC expressed his appreciation for the increase in corporate sponsorship and anticipation of their continued support.  

Judges and members of the UWI Debating Society (from left) Donna Russell, Rashauna Adams-Matthew, Timothy Arthur (Chief Judge), Annika Bellot and Israel Alpuche 

Mr. Murrell also commented on the improved showmanship of the debaters since the inception of the debate competition in 2013, “Indeed, the Council has observed the consistent improvement of the Schools’ debating teams over the past three (3) years. We have noted that there have been improvements in the research conducted, students’ oratory skills, the arguments presented and overall approach to the art of debating. All the school teams have displayed a genuine interest in the competition…”  The Chairman went on to say, “We can indeed say that there is definitely a bright future for secondary schools graduates with highly developed oratory skills.”  Mr. Murrell added that he looked forward to more secondary schools’ debate teams participating in next year’s competition.  

The third place winners of Deighton Griffith Secondary School (from left) Rhianna Smith, Leader; Gabrielle Smith, Seconder and Keon Jessamy, Examiner alongside the first place winners, The St Michael School and second place winners, Queen’s College

Mr. Murrell acknowledged the sterling contribution of the teachers and coaches of the participating secondary schools who displayed a keen interest in seeing their teams reach the farthest stages of the debating competition, with passion and enthusiasm.

Regarding the annual debate competition, the BAC’s aim is three-fold: (1) to assist with the development of the oratory and debating skills of our secondary school students; (2) to engage them in quality assurance issues in education; and (3) to cultivate a Quality Culture or awareness in Barbados.

The Alleyne School, Deighton Griffith Secondary School, Frederick Smith Secondary, Harrison College, The Lodge School, Princess Margaret Secondary, Queen’s College, The St. Michael School and St. Winifred’s participated in this year’s debate competition.

This year’s sponsors were Courtesy Garage, Ernst & Young, Barbados Employers Confederation, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Ltd, Office Solutions & Systems, G4S Secure Solutions, A. K. Supplies, K. W. Professional Cleaning Services, City of Bridgetown Cooperative Credit Union, Barbados Workers Union and UWI Debating Society.

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