Students from five primary schools across the island came together today to vie for top honours in the fourth annual St John Toastmasters Club Primary Schools Speech Contest, held at Messiah House, Messiah Street, St John under the theme, Looking Towards A Better Barbados.
Minister of Education Ronald Jones was among those in attendance for this year’s contest at which guest speaker Patrick Salt Bellamy urged the students to develop a thirst for knowledge.
“It is all right to not know for a second, but develop a thirst for knowledge,” he said, while praising the nine contestants, who were drawn from Mount Tabor Primary, St John Primary, St Joseph Primary, St Margaret’s Primary and St Philip’s Primary for the preparatory work that went into the staging of today’s speech competition.
“I realize that [each] contestant has developed a thirst for knowledge because you all went out and researched the topics and came with an opinion, your opinion that you would have gathered from your research,” Bellamy said.
In the end it was contestant number nine, Imani Firebrace, who walked away with top honours.
The St Joseph Primary School student expertly delivered her speech entitled, Sugar Rush, in which she spoke of the link between diabetes and sugary foods and snacks.
While warning that the incidence of juvenile diabetes was increasing at an alarming rate, Firebrace pointed to medical evidence which however suggests that with increasing access to treatment and information, fewer young people were dying as a result of that disease.
Second place went to Sharayna Arthur of St John Primary, who in her Letter To The Minister of Agriculture warned that the industry was dying, while zeroing in on two pests – praedial larceny and the scarcity of agricultural land. She therefore suggested that more land needs to be put back into agriculture, while those caught engaging in crop theft should be arrested or fined.
Third prize winner Ross Bourne of St Margaret’s Primary tackled the problem of littering, suggesting that it could be one of the factors contributing to the ongoing sewage leaks plaguing the south coast.
The other contestants were Oji Ra, Liala Bispham, Shemaya Shephard, Shanique Boyce, Serria Alleyne and Chelsea Harding.