St. Joseph High School today won the National Insurance Scheme’s (NIS) 50th Anniversary Debating Competition after competing against Queens College in the “intensely debated” finals held at the National Centre for Education Resource Development (NCERD).

The NIS collaborated with the Ministry of Education to host the competition which began on May 21, 2019 with eight schools.

Competing schools includes The Bishops’ High School, Brickdam Secondary School, North Georgetown Secondary School, Queen’s College, Christ Church, St. Rose’s High School, and St. Stanislaus College.

The moot that was debated in the final round of the competition was: “Improved Information Technology will enhance the services offered to contributors and pensioners by the National Insurance Scheme.” The Queen’s College students Christine Richardson, Ayjha Griffith, Lorelei Kanhai and Tatyana Alli (backup) proposed the moot while St. Joseph High School students Carmalita Byrne, Chelsea Forde and Adaiah Lawrence opposed the moot.

Forde was adjudged the best speaker.

The Ministry of Education reported Forde expressing appreciation for the opportunity that was given to her school to participate in the competition.

The first speaker for Queen’s College, Christine Richardson also expressed gratitude for the opportunity to participate in the competition. She added that her school will return on the next occasion with a much stronger team.

During the presentation of prizes ceremony, General Manager of NIS, Holly Greaves said that her entity is grateful to the Ministry of Education for partnering to execute the competition successfully.

She said that one objective of the 50th Anniversary observances of the NIS is to bring about public awareness to the NIS.

Chairman of the NIS Board, John Seeram said that the students who participated in the competition should benefit immensely from research on the topics debated. He advised that debating competitions should be a regular feature in secondary schools.

He congratulated all the other schools that participated in the competition and urged them not to be discouraged for not winning as they would have gained knowledge and skills to enhance their presentation techniques for future engagements.

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Education Officer (Administration), Ingrid Trotman said that competitive debating competitions are transformational experiences. She said that such initiatives allow children to practice critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

The two teams that reached the finals were given one desktop computer system while the participating students received their individual tokens. Students from the other participating schools also received their individual prizes. Additionally, the NIS also made a donation of books to the Smith Memorial Primary School.


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