The points difference was no more than four and it was enough for the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary School to retain the challenge trophy of the GRENLEC Inter-Secondary Schools Debate Competition which concluded on Tuesday at the Grenada Trade Centre.
With arguments that had the audience drifting for and against as the students debated the motion: “Be it resolved that the use of electric vehicles is more advantageous to small-island states,” it was described by Education Minister Anthony Boatswain as a session which had the audience listening attentively to the pros and the cons about using electric vehicles.
In the end the St. Joseph’s Convent St. Andrew which supported the motion scored 1,125 while the St Andrew’s Anglican Secondary who was against the motion scored 1128.6.
In his address to conclude the 2013 debating competition, Acting General Manager Clive Hosten said that the occasion of the final of the 6th GRENLEC Debates, certainly gives us reason to be confident about the future.
“Having listened to our debaters today and throughout the season, our team has no doubt that the GRENLEC Debates are transforming lives,” he said while pointing out some of the social issues which were debated by the students. These topics covered from social ills to economic sustainability with regards to the use of energy.
The debate competition began as a project of the Media Workers Association of Grenada, aimed at encouraging students to debate and discuss topical issues. Hosten said that when his company embarked on this journey it was with a desire, to challenge students, and educators, to reach beyond the ordinary.
“Six years later, GRENLEC and our partners understand that we too, are challenged to create an enabling environment, which stimulates discourse and growth. We are answering your challenge!” he said.
Describing the debate as a national project, involving public, and private sector, educators, families and audience, Hosten said that all of the partners volunteer their time and expertise, consistently focusing on enhancing the opportunity for our students to cultivate tools of success.
One of the persons who played a pivotal role from the foundation of the debate was former Governor-General Sir Paul Scoon, who passed away earlier this year, and as of 2013 the top debater award was named after him.
Hosten said that this year, Grenlec’s investment in community programmes under which the debate falls, is more than EC$3 million, with a significant amount benefiting youth through education and sport.
“Let me say that there is power in our partnerships, with the communities we serve, and there is power in our debates, a practice of critical thinking, research, analysis and logic; an art of persuasive delivery. Our young people are modelling the virtue of accommodating, a wide spectrum of perspectives, on matters of such importance,” he said.
“The debate,” Hosten said, “is not about right nor might, but rather about listening and being heard; about thinking, and thinking on your feet; about principle, discipline and conviction.”
“While we celebrate our finalists and toast our champion, we also measure winning, in the reflection of the transformation in our youth, through the GRENLEC Debates. By this measure, our educators have affirmed the continued success of our collaboration” he said.
by Linda Straker