16 teams, one winner- National Youth Debating Competition returns on Friday
The National Youth Debating Competition, which was started in 2021 by Speaker of the National Assembly Manzoor Nadir, is now billed as an annual event with this year’s contest set to kick off on Friday April 08, 2022.
Some 16 youth groups from across the country will participate in the event, which will cost the Parliament Office roughly $10 million. The intent is to bring Parliament closer to the people while ensuring the involvement of young people.
Using a computer software absolved from any inference by the organisers, the first debate will be between Linden Super Stars and Golden OM Dharmic Youth Organisation in a discussion that will be chaired from the Parliament Chamber, but with the option for the groups to use a virtual platform or be physically present.
The defending champions – Cummings Lodge Youth Movement – will be returning to defend the title.
With exciting moots to debate, the competition will be held on Tuesdays and Fridays only.
During a press briefing on Monday, Nadir recalled how the first installment of the competition was followed by thousands online, both in and out of Guyana.
He said Guyana’s Parliament has signed on to the Inter-Parliamentary Union Campaign – “say yes” to youth participation in parliament.
As such, this year’s youth debating competition will have the same objectives as the one in 2021.
“They will be debating while at the same time exposing themselves to parliamentary procedures and promoting awareness of the National Assembly and the work of parliament among people,” Nadir added.
With several groups returning, Nadir said the University of Guyana Student Society (UGSS) has opted not to. The UGSS will be replaced by Bartica Youth Group this year, which means that there are participating groups from all 10 administrative regions with the exception of Region Nine.
The groups participating in the competition are groups affiliated and registered with the Ministry of Culture Youth and Sport. Nadir said there are requests to include more teams in the future which means that the competition will grow.
As a consequence, he said the Parliament Office will have to consider seeking sponsorship to offset expenses and also conduct the competition at the regional level where there will be knockout rounds before the main event is hosted.
The judges for this year’s competition are Indra Chandarpal, Neaz Subhan, Monette Garnett Christopher, Delon Fraser, Anisha Mohamed, Miracle Miller, Valarie Goorsammy Smith, Melissa Dow Richardson and Reon Miller.
The Parliament Office has also been involved in Christmas outreaches, sporting and wellness activities and intends to also continue the National Youth Parliament which has been running for seven years now, all part of connecting with young people.
The Youth Parliament is set for August 12, 2022.