COLE BAY – On Tuesday, June 7, Community Police Officers (CPO) S.P. Crispulo, D.A. Chandler, S.P. Carty and E. S. Josepha with P. S. Bell from the Inspectorate of Education, hosted the first “Great Debate.”
Under the auspices of Cops & Kids, three schools: the Seventh Day Adventist School, Sr. Regina Primary School and Leonald Connor School competed in the debate. In the first round Sr. Regina (pro) and Leonald Connor (con) debated on “The Use of Social Media.”
In the second round, the Seventh Day Adventist School and Leonald Connor debated “Discrimination in School,” and in the deciding round, Leonald Connor (pro) and Sr. Regina (con) debated “the use of cell phones in school.”
Students were enthusiastic despite their nervousness as they debated. It was a new experience for them and they courageously faced the challenges of public speaking. The debate was spirited and students sharpened their speaking, listening and general communication skills. Critical to debating is respecting the views and values of others, without being intimidated or changing one’s mind, views or values.
Students made use of their language skills, which they had learned, practiced and enhanced over the span of their school career. Debating is not simply arguing, but arguing intelligently. It requires that students sharpen and use their listening skills, critical thinking skills and persuasive skills. Because of the fear and anxiety affiliated with public speaking, the necessity to create an opportunity and a safe place for students to face the woes of public speaking made it a priority on the activities offered with the program.
Students will have many instances in the course of their lifetime to participate in various arenas of public speaking and it is best not to wait to start developing and enhancing one’s communication skills.
The Great Debate was hosted by Caribbean Cinemas St. Maarten under the management of Shawn Green.
Sr. Regina Primary School emerged as victor of the first Great Debate earning them the trophy and the coveted bragging rights.
Crispulo, Chandler, Carty, Josepha and Bell congratulated all debate participants and their schools. They also thanked those who give their time to make the Great Debate a success.
The Great Debate will be a part of the Cops & Kids program for the 2016-2017 school year, in which all elementary schools will be invited to participate.