Akishma Payne of the Hampton School in St. Elizabeth took first place in the National Child Month Committee (NCMC) Youth Forum debate competition finals held on Friday (November 26).
She defeated three other students from secondary schools across the island, who argued the moot ‘Be it resolved that the circumstances surrounding the pandemic are preparing the youth to embrace the use of technology in the teaching and learning environment’.
Akishma was also named Best Presenter and shared the award for Best Rebuttal with Delanie Fagan from Knox College in Clarendon, who placed second.
Third was Khalifa Hardware of Wolmer’s Trust High School for Girls in Kingston, while Alexander Green of Muschett High School in Trelawny placed fourth.
The debate finals took place at the Institute of Jamaica (IOJ), downtown Kingston, and was broadcast on virtual platforms.
It was a scaling down of the regular gathering of students in a youth forum, due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
Chair of the NCMC, Dr. Pauline Mullings, in her welcome remarks said that the “objective is for young people to express their fears and concerns about what is happening in our nation and its impact on them”.
“It is at this forum that our young people share their ideas of possible interventions that could make positive changes,” she noted.
The debate competition was sponsored by the Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) Joan Duncan Foundation, GraceKennedy, and the National Baking Company Foundation.
It was the penultimate event on the NCMC’s 2021 calendar of events.
The final activity for the NCMC, which is scheduled for December 17, is the Academic Achievement Awards ceremony, which will recognise students from non-traditional high schools who have done exceptionally well in their external exams.