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27/11/2023 0 Comments
Helen Hutchinson-Mason, MSc.
Public Relations and Communication Manager
During Civil Service Week which was held between November 19 - 25, 2023 under the theme “Raising the Bar: Strengthening the Bond”, several activities captivated members of the public. On Monday, November 20, 2023, the debate community was treated to the Grand Finals 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 take 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-unionized 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 Kade-Jah Baker) faced off against Cornwall College to emerge the champion.
The school was awarded $200.000.00 along with the first place trophy.
The 1st runner-up was team Cornwall College (Jartin Donaldson, Tequan Ellis, and Matthew White), with the 2nd runners-up being the Ocho Rios High School.
Cornwall College, the runner-up, received $150,000 and a trophy sponsored by Rubis, with 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, conceptualizer 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.
Mrs. Clarke-Griffiths stated that she as a debater herself, decided that after many years of hosting a quiz competition for Civil Service Week, the Association would introduce a debating competition instead.
Debating however, is not new to the JCSA as each year President(s) and vice presidents vying for office, participate in an electoral debate which is highly anticipated each year 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 indication, the feedback from some of the students and the teachers, the competition has taught them a lot about the trade union movement,” Third Vice President and Trade Union Education and Training Committee, Alrington Roberts stated.
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