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Greater Portmore Primary is the Greater Debater

GraceKennedy Limited | 2012-06-06 08:53:00

Greater Portmore Primary is the Greater Debater School wins Western Union Debating Competition.

St. Catherine based Primary School Greater Portmore Primary School is the 2012 Western Union Primary Schools’ Debating Champions. In a nail biting finish, the school edged out fellow Portmore finalist Naggo Head Primary to walk away with the winning trophy. Other prizes included a re-paint of the school by Rapid True Value and book vouchers redeemable at Kingston Bookshop.

The debaters, ranging between the ages of 9 and 11 matched wits while arguing for and against the moot “Jamaica is a better country after 50 years of Independence”.

Greater Portmore, who were the opposers of the moot, sighted issues of crime, poor living conditions and injustices against children as support of their arguments. They highlighted the fact that 50 years ago, Jamaica started out as a third world country and 50 years later, nothing has changed. Second Speaker Jamilah Stephenson lamented “I’m tired of hearing my parents talk about the ‘good old days’ when they could leave their front doors open”. She went on to mention how she feared for her life and would not recommend anyone trying to relive those days in today’s crime riddled Jamaica.

Arguments on both sides were solid and according to chief judge and CEO of GraceKennedy Financial Group Courtney Campbell, the decision to finally select Greater Portmore Primary as the winner was not one that the judging panel came by easily. “The teams did a very good job. There was obviously a lot of research put in and both sides interpreted the moot well. There was solid evidence to support the points with even a bit of humour”, commented Campbell while delivering the Judges’ Report.

Also difficult to select was the “Best Speaker” for the competition. All six debaters charmed the audiences with poise, articulation and expression well above the level you would expect from the average Primary School child. But ultimately it was Ashley Graham of Greater Portmore Primary who walked away with the coveted spot of best speaker. “She really set the tone for her team”, explained Joan Marie Powell, Managing Director of GraceKennedy Money Services and one of four judges on the day.

Campbell also took the time to single out the lone male debater in the group; Alex Grant from Naggo Head Primary. Though his team wasn’t victorious, his delivery attracted special mention. “You see how well Alex did”, observed Campbell.  “Use that to motivate the other boys in your school and challenge them to stand up and represent next year”.

This is the third year that Western Union is hosting the event. The debating competition forms one component of an annual programme hosted by Western Union entitled I PLEDGE. The acronym stands for “I promise to lend encouragement to the development of education”; and as such, the programme sees Western Union investing some JMD$13 million into literary programmes across the Primary School network.

The other components of the programme include the Western Union Reading Week, which happens in April of each year and a computerization programme which is slated to take place in September of this year.

Posted By :Simone Clarke-Cooper

Company Name : GraceKennedy Limited

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Company Address : 73 Harbour Street, Kingston, Jamaica.

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