The Garifuna Indigenous People of St. Vincent and the Grenadines Incorporated (GIPSVG Inc.) partnered with the Principals and staff of the Primary Schools North of the Rabacca River in hosting its inaugural Primary School Public Speaking Contest.
On Thursday 12 March, GIPSVG, an organization based in NY, hosted its first Primary School Public Speaking Competition at the Tourama Primary School in Overland. The participating Primary schools were Fancy, Owia, Sandy Bay, and Tourama.
President of GIPSVG, Miss Marsena Ballantyne was present and brought remarks on behalf of the organisation. Miss Ballantyne underscored the organisation’s mission as one of community development using a holistic approach grounded in principles of culture retrieval & preservation, community cohesion, capacity building through education and other forms, and a sharing of information with the next generation.
Ms. Marla Nanton- James, Education officer for Media and Communications, represented the Ministry of Education of St. Vincent and the Grenadines and served in the capacity as chief judge of the competition. Ms. Nanton -James in her brief remarks stated that the Ministry of Education has endorsed the competition and that it was in line with the activities of the Ministry. She also spoke to the benefits of public speaking in everyday life and encouraged teachers to continue giving children the opportunity to speak in the classroom.
The structure of the competition which followed the guidelines and rubric of the Ministry of education saw students present speeches in three different categories. The main topic “ Garifuna Identity and Culture: Its importance to the development of St. Vincent and the Grenadines” carried a time limit of 8 minutes, the student prepared speech – 5 minutes, and the impromptu speech with a time limit of 3 minutes including 1 minute for preparation.
With a score of 357 points, Zaheim Michael of the Fancy Government School won the competition overall, as well as the impromptu category with his chosen topic of “National Heroes Day”.
Jade Andrews of the Tourama Primary School who placed second with a score 350 points, also won the main topic, and the best ‘student prepared Speech’ speaking on the topic of “ Violence against women and girls”.
Placing 3rd was Yanna Bengy of the Sandy Bay Government School with 345 points and 4th place Nathan Warrick of the Owia Government School with 333 points.
A monetary donation was given to each contestant and their participating school. Each contestant also received a medal of certificate while the overall winner of the competition and the Winning school each received a trophy and US$500.