It was a heated battle of words and arguments between Queen’s College and The St Michael School for the finals of the Barbados Accreditation Council’s Annual National Secondary Schools’ Debate Competition held on November 25, 2015, with the Opposition, The St Michael School emerging victorious.
The St Michael School all-boys team, consisting of Dia Parris (Leader), Nicholas Brathwaite (Seconder) and Benjamin Pires (Cross- Examiner) defeated the Queen’s College all-girls team, consisting of Brittany Williams (Leader), Makela Harrison-Yarde (Seconder) and Ashley Gibson (Cross- Examiner) by 16 points. The winners amassed 1558 points, while QUEEN’S COLLEGE amassed 1542 points.
The moot: Self Financing of Education Increases Student Engagement was keenly researched and the team members delivered their arguments with eloquent force – displaying the hard work, preparation for the finals and good debating skills.
In his Brief Remarks, Mr Cedric Murrell, Chairman of the Barbados Accreditation Council declared that the debate will continue to be an annual event and a Challenge Trophy will be introduced from 2016.
The Chairman mentioned the timeliness of the debate’s topic “as members of the public continue to share their own perspectives and concerns in relation to the financing of education, particularly at the post-secondary/tertiary level given the economic constraints facing Barbados.” He further stated, “the public debate has since intensified with the government’s introduction of payment of tuition fees by Barbadians who are pursuing studies at The University of the West Indies. This new policy, which commenced from the academic year 2014-2015, certainly could beg the question as to whether students will be more “engaged” during the learning process given that they are financing their own education.”
The Honourable Ronald Jones, M.P, J.P, Minister of Education, Science, Technology and Innovation attended the finals of the debate and presented the winner’s prizes of a desktop computer, a printer, the winner’s trophy and a day’s staycation at Dover Beach Hotel.
The 2015 debate attracted the participation of ten schools, namely: The Alexandra School, The Alleyne School, Combermere School, Deighton Griffith Secondary School, Frederick Smith Secondary, Harrison College, The Lodge School, Queen’s College, The St Michael School and St Winifred’s, who faced-off for the moot, Internet Use Can Positively Enhance the Quality of Education, during the preliminary rounds held in October.
The sponsors of the debate were: Courtesy Garage, Barbados Employers Confederation, Caribbean Broadcasting Corporation, Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union Ltd, Glassesco, Tropical Computers, D.E Computers, Office Solutions & Systems, Refrigeration & Electrical Services, G4S Secure Solutions, Firgos (Eastern Caribbean) Ltd, A. K. Supplies, Glacial Ice Unlimited, K. W. Professional Cleaning Services, City of Bridgetown Cooperative Credit Union, FLOW, NXT Generation Toastmasters Club, Westside Toastmasters Club, Solidarity Toastmasters Club and Vanguard Toastmasters Club.