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Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition back after 1-year hiatus

Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition back after 1-year hiatus

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After a one year hiatus, the LIME Secondary Schools Public Speaking Competition is back on the academic calendar of events for the nation’s students.

The Ministry of Education and the Lion’s Club South have signed a memorandum of understanding regarding the future of this event to avoid a repeat of last year’s disagreement over the proposed {{more}} debate topics – which resulted in the cancellation of the competition.

At a press conference held on Wednesday, September 17 – from which the Ministry of Education was noticeably absent – officials from the Lion’s Club South and LIME outlined the plans and schedule for this year’s competition.

Assuring those gathered of the Ministry’s cooperation despite the absence of a representative at the press conference, president of Lion’s Club South Michael John said: “That is no indication that they are not on board. They are fully on board with us this year.”

John expressed his pleasure at once again being able to collaborate with LIME and the Ministry of Education on this “flagship project.”

Additionally, he outlined the objectives of his organisation in hosting this annual event, which include: developing the public speaking skills of secondary school students; raising awareness of current issues among young adults and the wider nation; broadening the scope of the Lion’s Club South; stimulating an attitude of research among the nation’s youth; and providing a forum for the discussion of issues of national importance.

LIME country manager Leslie Jack said that he is pleased that the “kinks” have been worked out between the Lion’s Club South and the Ministry, and that LIME can continue to support education in SVG in this way.

“It [the competition] was dearly missed last year… more so by the students who were keenly looking forward to participating in the competition,” said Jack.

He went on to say that LIME is investing “in excess of $30,000 into the event – in cash and in kind. Participants and winners will be included in LIME’s scholarship programme, and teachers who coach the students will also be rewarded for their involvement.

In addition to the usual prizes and awards, the winning school will receive $2,500, to be used towards a project of the institution’s choice.

The public speaking competition will take place in four preliminary rounds with zones 1, 2, 3 and 4 being held on September 30, October 1, October 2, and October 3, respectively.

Zone 1 will take place at the Girls’ High School, and will include students from Bishop’s College Kingstown, Girls’ High School, Dr JP Eustace Secondary, St Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, St Clair Dacon Secondary, Thomas Saunders Secondary and the Emmanuel High School.

Zone 1’s topic will be: ‘Bullying (including cyber bullying), social exclusion, stigmatisation and scorn are accepted responses to individuals whose personal choices do not conform to societal norms.’

Zone 2 (National Public Library conference room) will include students from the Bethel High School, St Vincent Grammar School, Bequia Community High School, Bequia Seventh Day Adventist Secondary, Intermediate High School and the West St George Secondary.

Zone 2’s topic will be: ‘Drug and alcohol dependency, particularly in young adults, is a disease too often overlooked.’

Zone 3 (North Union Learning Resource Centre) will include students from St Joseph’s Convent Marriaqua, Mountain View Seventh Day Adventist Academy, Georgetown Secondary, Adelphi Secondary, North Union Secondary, Sandy Bay Secondary, and the George Stephens Secondary.

The topic for Zone 3 will be: ‘The effects of climate change on agriculture and marine life is a frightening proposition to which poor countries like St Vincent and the Grenadines will never be able to adequately respond.’

Zone 4 (Barrouallie Learning Resource Centre) will include students from the St Martin’s Secondary, Central Leeward Secondary, Troumaca Secondary, Petit Bordel Secondary, Union Island Secondary and the Buccament Bay Secondary.

Their topic will be: ‘The economics of marijuana is the main driver behind the medical claims.’

The winners of each zone will take part in the final, scheduled to be held on Wednesday, October 22 at the Methodist Church Hall.(JSV)

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