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Munro College conquers National Schools’ Debating Competition

Published:Saturday | April 16, 2016 | 4:00 AMAndre Poyser
Senator Ruel Reid (right), Minister of Education, Youth and Information, and Floyd Green (second right), state minister, congratulate members of the Munro College debating team. The school won the Burger King-sponsored National Secondary Schools’ Debating Championships. From left: Evonie Blake, coach of the Munro debating team; Mark Smith (second left), principal of Munro College; Mario Plummer Congo-Nyah; Owayne Honeyghan; and Nahjae Nunes. Munro College launched its 160th anniversary and scholarship fund at the Medallion Hall Hotel in Kingston yesterday.

Ahead of the launch of its 160th anniversary, Munro College has asserted its dominance in the Burger King-sponsored National Secondary Schools' Debating Championships.

The all-boys boarding institution defeated long-time rivals Cornwall College and was declared 2016 champion at the studios of Television Jamaica on Wednesday.

Proposing the motion, "This House would implement performance-based pay for Jamaican teachers", the team presented arguments which highlighted how performance-based pay could be used to address the weaknesses in the education system.

First speaker Owayne Honeyghan said that the victory was a special one for the team because it affirmed the importance of debating as an area in which Munro could excel.

"I am really happy that we were given the opportunity to come forward and to analyse issues that are currently facing our society, and we have contextualised it in a way that youths can understand it, and not only youths, but Jamaica at large," he said in an interview with The Gleaner.

BENEFITS OF DEBATING

Honeyghan also argued for more attention to be given to debating as it is a very useful tool for building confidence and improving the critical-thinking skills of boys in particular.

The other members of the team were fourth form student Nahjae Nunes and sixth-former Mario Plummer Congo-Nyah.

Team coach Evonie Blake credited the victory to constant improvement and the experience garnered from previous years of the competition. Munro College has registered strong performances in the competition since its reintroduction in 2014 when it was the runner-up in the competition.

"It feels amazing. It's certainly a dream come true. We put in the work and we were very close in 2014, but we went back to the drawing board and we did it," Blake said.

andre.poyser@gleanerjm.com