The J.O.F Haynes Memorial Debating Competition 2022 concluded on Wednesday with an intense final between the West Demerara Secondary School and the Winifred Gaskin Memorial Secondary School.
In the end, the West Demerara Secondary School, the Opposition, emerged as the overall winner with 315 points while the Winifred Gaskin Memorial Secondary, the proposition garnered 259 points. This year’s competition marked the return of the competition to in-person engagement. Today’s final round was held at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD).
Desson Daniels, Raphaela David and Keba Evelyn represented the West Demerara Secondary School while the Winifred Gaskin Memorial Secondary School was represented by Crystal Smartt, Quincie Andrews and Masani Jordan.
The teams debated the moot: The primary avenue for economic prosperity in Guyana is the oil and gas industry. Keba Evelyn of the West Demerara Secondary School was judged the best speaker. It is worth noting that she was judged the best speaker in every debate throughout the competition.
Mr. Sheldon Granville, Senior Education Officer within the Secondary Sector said that every Education District was represented in the competition.
The competition started with 11 schools; the Santa Rosa Secondary School (Region One), the Anna Regina Secondary School (Region Two), the West Demerara Secondary School (Region Three), Friendship Secondary School (Region Four), Fort Wellington Secondary School (Region Five), Winifred Gaskin Memorial Secondary School (Region Six), Three Miles Secondary School (Region Seven), Mahdia Secondary School (Region Eight), Aishalton Secondary School (Region Nine), Mackenzie High School (Region Ten) and St. Joseph High School (Georgetown).
Mr. Granville said that there were independent judges at each stage of the competition. He said that before moots were finalized they were analyzed to ensure that they were balanced and allowed both debating sides to present sound arguments.
Chief Judge today, Ms. Collette Horatio commended both teams on their performance. She noted that there was an improvement in the use of supporting evidence to establish a logical relationship with the moot. She advised the speakers that in debating, measured speech is required and that they should not lose their way with words.
Assistant Chief Education Officer (Secondary), Ms. Tiffany Harvey and Assistant Chief Education Officer (Literacy), Ms. Samantha Williams were present today to hand over prizes and trophies to the two teams. (Ministry of Education press release)