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…16 groups to participate, 9 judges
The Speaker’s National Youth Debating Competition was launched Tuesday at the Parliament Chambers with the competition set to run from June 15 to July 9, 2021.
A total of 16 youth groups will participate over four rounds on Tuesday and Fridays. On any given day, there will be two debating contests from 10 AM to 11 AM and 2 PM to 3 PM. The competitions will be broadcast live and will include both in-person and virtual presentations.
Round One will see 8 youth groups emerging as winners; Round Two will narrow these down to 4; Round Three will narrow these down to 2 and, from Round Four the winning group will emerge. The winners, as well as other participants, will walk away with attractive prizes. The best debater can expect to walk away with a laptop.
During his remarks, Speaker of the National Assembly, Manzoor Nadir said that the competition is aimed at promoting the work of Guyana’s democratic institutions.
To source participants for the debates, the team reached out to young people from the 11 education districts as well as those involved in youth clubs and youth organisations. Access to internet connection also influenced the selection of the groups.
Participants include the Oronoque Sports Group; Queenstown Youth Group; Anna Region Youth Group; Bell West Youth Group; Small Steps, Big Impact Youth Group; Young Professionals; Grove/Diamond Youths in Development; Berbice Development Youth Group; Golden Om Youth Group; Number 58 Swingstar Youth Group; Angoys Avenue Youth Group; Mahdia Youth Group; Linden Superstar Youth Group; KAST Talent Management; Cummings Lodge Youth Movement and the University of Guyana Student Society.
Each team will have three members. Nadir said: “One of the reasons why we’re choosing to go the route of youth clubs is because, among our people, we have to learn the value of teamwork. None of us by ourselves can develop ourselves and achieve what we want for our families and ourselves, it’s going to have to be networking, being part of a team, and being responsible citizens.”
There will be nine judges who were listed as former UG Lecturer, Valarie Goorasammy-Smith; Producer and Editorial Consultant, Neil Marks; Toastmaster, Delon Fraser; former Youth Parliamentarian Brianna Ramnarine and Rayon Miller; Assistant Director of Sport, Melissa Roberts; President of the Guyana Press Association, Nazima Raghubir; Head of Committees Division at the Parliament Office, Sonia Maxwell and Chief Administrative Officer at the parliament Office, Monette Garnett-Christopher.
The Speaker of the National Assembly said that the judges were considered as having integrity and as representing different parts of society and different age groups.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Executive Officer, Carletta Charles encouraged the public to support the contestants. “I encourage our general audience to tune in, listen to your young people. They have different perspectives and they would be able to inform good decision making in our country,” she said.
At the launch, the groups were paired at the launch and matched to their moots. They were also told of the dates on which they would be required to debate. Some of the moots to come include: Drugs Rehabilitation is very effective in Guyana; Playing video games lead to a dangerous addiction; Like English, Spanish should be a core subject in schools; Single-use plastic products should be banned in Guyana and more.
Nadir said that Guyanese can also expect to see Youth Parliament to be held in August 2021 with the involvement of school children in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. The students will be drawn from all 11 educational districts. Students at the University of Guyana (UG) will also be included in this year’s Youth Parliament.