August 9, 2013

Praise FM public speaking competition a success

The first Praise FM Family-Time Public Speaking competition has been hailed a tremendous success by both the organisers and supporters of the event.{{more}}

Five participants ages nine to 13 took part in the event which was held on Saturday, August 3, at the Streams of Power Church at Sion Hill. The five participants spoke in the Prepared Speech category on the topic “Should students be paid for good grades?” After which there was an Impromptu category.

13-year-old Brian Pearson of Belmount won the Prepared Speech category, while another 13-year-old, Carmold Murray of Cane Hall, won the Impromptu category.

Murray was adjudged the overall winner of the competition, winning a Jubilee Beauty Salon–sponsored tablet valued at over $600. Arguing against the topic, young Murray stated that in St Vincent and the Grenadines, it is illegal to employ children, pointing out that SVG has ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child and that the employment of children is despicable and is called child labour. “Since it is illegal to employ children, the very premise of this argument is flawed and not worthy of consideration by the distinguished judges,” Murray argued in his disagreement that students should be paid for good grades.

Meanwhile, one and a half points separated Pearson from the first prize and he had to settle for second position, and was awarded an MP3 player, compliments of Praise FM. Pearson also argued that students should not be paid for good grades. Citing St Matthew chapter 20, where the story of the hired labourers is recorded. Pearson questioned “Are students labourers that they should be paid?” He pointed out that it should be the dream of every boy and girl who walks through the doors of any school to seek for, and achieve good grades, with an aim to skillfully chart a path through these difficult economic times and through life on a whole. “I should not be bribed to achieve what is beneficial to me!” he argued.

And nine-year-old Adonis Byron of Georgetown, who was the youngest participant, settled for the third position and was awarded a dual sim cellular phone compliments Courts St Vincent Ltd Adonis who was in favour of the topic made it clear that the payment of which she spoke was in the form of currency, whether US, pounds or EC. She said that children are human beings too and some work just as hard or ever harder than teachers. “Children should be paid for good grades because we start working from 8:45 in the morning and sometimes go straight through to midnight. Yes, madam chairperson, this is the truth, because most of us, especially those with the good grades, are still in our books up to midnight, when many of our teachers and parents are already asleep!” Byron reasoned with her audience.

The other participants were 11-year-old Lauriel Stowe of Bequia and 12-year-old Donlee Sutherland of Spring Village, who both argued in support of the topic that students should be paid for good grades. The other participants also received prizes compliments Jujube Bookstore and Praise FM.

Speaking at the opening of Saturday’s Public Speaking Competition, Mavis Joseph, education officer for Literacy, Language and Communication Development in the Ministry of Education, congratulated Praise FM and especially coordinator of the event Shana Daniel. Joseph said that the Ministry of Education is always pleased when private citizens partner with them to develop young minds. The education officer added that they are particularly pleased that Daniel had chosen to focus on speaking, as this is an area that begs attention in many classrooms. “Students need to be given the chance to speak in a structured manner and on various topics, using their classmates as their audience,” Joseph said.