Sun | May 26, 2024

UTech teams top National Collegiate Debating Championship

Published:Saturday | April 20, 2024 | 12:07 AMPaul H. Williams/Gleaner Writer
The National Collegiate Debating Championship’s winning team of University of Technology, Jamaica final-year bachelor of Law students Enroy Madourie (left) and Jadon Hewitt (right). At centre is Germaine Barrett, convenor of the competition.
The National Collegiate Debating Championship’s winning team of University of Technology, Jamaica final-year bachelor of Law students Enroy Madourie (left) and Jadon Hewitt (right). At centre is Germaine Barrett, convenor of the competition.

Two teams from the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) argued their way to first- and second- place positions at the grand finals of the National Collegiate Debating Competition held at St Ann’s Moneague College on Tuesday, April 2.

Contesting the motion, ‘This house would oppose Jamaica’s deployment of security forces as part of an international mission to Haiti’, two other teams, one from UWI Mona, and the other from Moneague College, were also among the finalists.

The winning team consisted of final-year Bachelor of Law students Jadon Hewitt and Enroy Madourie from UTech Western Campus. Sherissa Pinnock and Dekardiago Nelson, third-year computer science students at UTech’s Papine campus were the members of the second-place team. Pinnock was ajudged the Best Debater for the championship. Chief adjudicator was Ronaldo Blake.

Consistent excellence

According to Germaine Barrett, founder and executive director of Jamaican Association for Debating and Empowerment (JADE), and convenor of the championship, “Their passion and dedication continue to enrich Jamaica’s debating community and inspire future generations of debaters … . Their consistent excellence, marked by impressive achievements in each round, exemplifies the calibre of talent fostered within Jamaica’s collegiate debating community.”

The debates consisted of motions ranging from the role of court records in public discourse to the integration of artificial intelligence into education systems. “The topics challenged participants to engage in nuanced analysis and articulate their perspectives with clarity and conviction,” Barrett said.

In addition to the debates, there was a public speaking contest in which Moneague College students Delicia Lawrence and Tahira Bennett copped the first and second place, respectively, while Miqeala Harvey was third.

The JADE extended congratulations to “all participants, institutions, and supporters who contributed to the success of this year’s championship”.

“High on the list is Jacqueline Thames, vice-principal of Moneague College, and Kevaughn Small, president of the Moneague College Debating and Public Speaking Society, who were instrumental in supporting the successful execution of this high-calibre championship. Both will receive commendation awards at the JADE Awards Gala to be held on Sunday, May 5,” it continued.

The JADE is a pioneering organisation dedicated to promoting intellectual discourse, critical thinking, and leadership development among Jamaica’s youths. Through its diverse programmes and initiatives, JADE empowers individuals to engage thoughtfully with pressing social, political, and economic issues, fostering a culture of dialogue, understanding, and positive change.