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QRC steals spotlight at JA debate quarter-finals

Saturday, November 25, 2017

Queen’s Royal College stole the spotlight at the quarter-final stage of the 2017 Junior Achievement Leadership Debate Series, with both its teams - QRC Team A and QRC Team B -registering victories to secure berths in the semi-finals.

QRC is the only one of three schools which each placed two teams in the quarter-finals to win both their encounters. Presentation College (Chaguanas) and NorthGate College (St Augustine), the other schools which fielded two teams, secured the other semi-final places.

In the first of two quarter-finals on November 15, QRC Team A, represented by Ronaldo Boodoo and Shane John, turned back a plucky performance by NorthGate College Team B. QRC Team B, with Kai-Jeevan Kalideen and Derron Philanders on its panel, won against Presentation Team B. In both instances, the QRC students argued against the motion: Be it resolved that happiness is the most important indicator of well-being and success at the level of the individual.

The first match-up on November 16 saw NorthGate Team A, with Christina Foster and Zachary Joel at the helm, earning the judges’ nod over St Joseph’s Convent, St Joseph. NorthGate Team A was the only team which proposed the motion to advance to the semi-finals.

Also on November 16, Presentation Team A, led by Kabir Singh and Jerod Griffith, turned the tables on Naparima Girls High School which had beaten them in Round Two preliminary stage.

In the draw for the semi-finals, QRC Team A and QRC Team B were ironically pitted against each other, with Team A arguing on behalf of the motion. In the other semi-final, Presentation Team A will propose the motion against NorthGate Team A, a release said.

The semi-finals were held at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business on November 22 and the finals are carded for the Central Bank auditorium on November 29.

Chairman of Junior Achievement, Anthony Pierre, congratulated the teams on making the semi-finals, urging the students that they should not let the day’s participation be their last involvement in the debate series, whether they were victorious or not. “In effect, you are all winners because of the value of the experience you take from this exercise and we are happy that you are part of the wonderful JA journey,” Pierre told the debaters, their colleagues and teachers.
Zalayhar Hassanali, wife of late president Noor Hassanali has been attending the debate series. Mrs Hassanali is an ardent supporter of Junior Achievement.

Judges for the debates were Merle Carrington, Dominic Kallipersad and Dominic Smith. The debates were chaired by Chrystal Lloyd, with Elizabeth Calder as timekeeper.

In her remarks at the end of the first session, Carrington said the debaters were very composed and assured, noting that they had used the judges’ advice from previous rounds to raise the level of debate. She added that the students demonstrated passionate delivery of their positions and that there was very interesting engagement between both sides.

Offering an analysis of the second debate, Smith said that the judges “loved the communication between both teams which displayed a high level of exuberance, passion and enthusiasm.

“We appreciate you owning the material and your position and we found that the logical flow of your arguments was good,” said Smith, who advised the debaters to use their three-minute summary to bring home their argument.

JA executive director J Errol Lewis thanked the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business and First Citizens Bank (FCB) for their support of the debating series.


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