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Story Highlights

  • Immaculate Conception High and the combined team from Chetwood Memorial and Barracks Road Primary Schools won the secondary and primary schools category, respectively, of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) inaugural Debating Competition.
  • The winning schools outlasted teams from institutions across the island during the contest held last Thursday (May 2) at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.
  • They debated the banning of sugary drinks in schools and the development of new medicines to combat health challenges relating to high sugar consumption.

Immaculate Conception High and the combined team from Chetwood Memorial and Barracks Road Primary Schools won the secondary and primary schools category, respectively, of the Scientific Research Council (SRC) inaugural Debating Competition.

The winning schools outlasted teams from institutions across the island during the contest held last Thursday (May 2) at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

They debated the banning of sugary drinks in schools and the development of new medicines to combat health challenges relating to high sugar consumption.

Coordinator for Science and Technology Education at the SRC, Amanda McKenzie, told JIS News that “the SRC thinks the debating competition is an innovative and engaging way to stimulate the youth’s interest in topics of national importance”.

“We want students to share their viewpoints, as they are also impacted by decisions being made by our policymakers. One day, these students will be the ones crafting policies, negotiating contracts and making decisions that will affect persons at the community, national and international levels,” she noted.

Executive Director at the Scientific Research Council (SRC) Dr. Cliff Riley (back row, centre) and Coordinator of Science and Technology Education at the SRC, Amanda Mckenzie right), share with teachers and students from the winning combined debating team from Chetwood Memorial and Barracks Road Primary schools. Occasion was the SRC’s inaugural Debating competition on Thursday (May 2) at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.

 

Ms. McKenzie encouraged parents to cultivate “the spirit of independent thought” within their children and to “help them to understand that it is okay to (view) issues from various perspectives”.

The competition, which featured mostly combined school squads, had full teams from Immaculate Conception and Somerton All-Age.

The schools were required to submit essays based on the debate moot, with the top 24 performers merged into teams. There were 90 essays submitted by 40 schools.

In the high school category, second place went to the combined team from St. Andrew High School for Girls, Campion College and St. Jago High; third place was the team of Herbert Morrison, Green Pond and Ocho Rios High; while fourth place went to the team from Lennon, St. Mary and Bustamante High.

In the primary category, second place went to the combined team from Kilsyth, Porus and Ocho Rios Primary; third place went to Seaview Gardens and Village Primary; and fourth place went to Somerton All-Age.

The top performers received gift baskets, bluetooth speakers, and certificates of participation, with certificates for spa services for the teachers.

SRC Executive Director, Dr. Cliff Riley, noted that the essay segment will help students to improve on their scientific writing abilities.

He said that not only is it important to be able to conduct research, but to package the information garnered in a way that is understandable.

SRC has been undertaking various competitions since 1996, aimed at engaging students. The inaugural debate competition has replaced the regular poster contest.