MoBay High School for Girls takes top honours in the inaugural JCSA High Schools’ Debate Competition
ON MONDAY, November 20, the debate community was treated to the grand final of the inaugural #WeareaBigDeal Jamaica Civil Service Association (JCSA) High Schools’ Debate Competition. The Montego Bay High School for Girls staved off all opposition to be crowned the champions and took home trophies, cash prizes, and gift bags, courtesy of the JCSA and Rubis.
The motion for the debate was ‘This House believes that a non-unionised workforce is a significant contributor to workers migrating overseas’.
The debate competition took place at the O’Neil W. Grant Auditorium, located at the Jacisera Park Complex in Kingston, where Montego Bay High School for Girls (Kimberly Simms, Jada Bullock and KadeJah Baker) faced off against Cornwall College to emerge the champion.
The school was awarded $200,000, along with the firstplace trophy.
The first runner-up was Cornwall College (Jartin Donaldson, Tequan Ellis, and Matthew White), with the second runners-up being Ocho Rios High School.
Cornwall College received $150,000 and a trophy sponsored by Rubis, with the third-place team, Ocho Rios High, walking away with $100,000 and a trophy.
Montego Bay High for Girls’ Kimberly Simms was awarded the prize for overall Best Speaker and was also presented with the Spirit of the Competition Award.
In her remarks, conceptualiser of the event, president of the Jamaica Civil Service Association, Techa Clarke-Griffiths, said that the competition exceeded expectations, noting that the students evolved in their public-speaking skills. “Debate is not merely a competition, it is a journey of intellectual exploration,” she said.
Clarke-Griffiths stated that as a debater herself, she decided that after many years of hosting a quiz competition for Civil Service Week, the association would i ntroduce a debating competition instead.
Debating, however, is not new to the JCSA as each year, presidents and vice-presidents vying for office participate in an electoral debate which i s highly anticipated by the general membership, as they seek to hear the manifestos articulated by the candidates, she added.
Over the course of the competition, which was launched in October, the schools debated topics related to trade union matters.
“By all indications from the feedback from some of the students and the teachers, the competition has taught them a l ot about the trade union movement,” said Alrington Roberts, third vice-president and Trade Union Education and Training Committee member.
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