George Headley wins Western Union Primary Schools' Debate Competition 2017

Photo: 

Kingston, Jamaica: June 13, 2017 George Headley Primary from Duhaney Park, St. Andrew are the winners of the 2017 Western Union Primary School Debate competition.

They took the title after beating Corinaldi Avenue Primary out of Montego Bay in a closely contested final at the studios of TVJ on Tuesday. The schools debated: "be it resolved Jamaica is the best place in the Caribbean to live, work and do business."

George Headley who proposed the moot was represented by Kaytanna Edwards, Yasheema Leslie, and Nakiata Gordon and coached by Andre Plummer. Meanwhile Corinaldi Avenue Primary was represented by Kimberly Simms, Honessa Clayton and Kory Chisholm and coached by Vivienne Morrison.

Along with the title, George Headley walked away with a cash award of $300,000 and trophies to the school, the team members and their head coach. Speaking on behalf of the team Ms. Edwards said she was elated. "This is our third time in the competition, and now to finally win is awesome. I am so proud of our performance," she said behind a wide grin.

For their part, Corinaldi Avenue did not leave the competition empty handed, as their first speaker and head girl Simms was awarded the Best Speaker; the team was also awarded a $150,000 cash award and runner-up trophies. She too was pleased. "I am happy I got the best speaker award, and I think my team-mates and I did very well," said Simms.

Making her remarks at the final, Michelle Allen, CEO of GraceKennedy Money Services, the agents of Western Union in Jamaica, restated the company's commitment to education and sports and added that outlets like the debate are important to children's development. "We are happy to provide our children with this outlet to express their opinions on issues which affect them and the country at large, and to learn from an early age that we can have different opinions but still remain friends."

The other schools in the competition were Naggo Head Primary, Clan Carthy Primary, Bridgeport Primary, St. Richards Primary, Greater Portmore Primary, Windward Road Primary, Mandeville Primary, Johns Rollins Success Primary, May Pen Primary, Catherine Hall Primary, Green Pond Primary and Watsonton Primary.

The debate competition is one of the components of the Western Union I-PLEDGE (I Promise to Lend Encouragement to Develop Growth in Education) initiative which seeks to promote and enhance literacy skills in the primary education system. The other activities were a reading week and an essay competition.