By: Curtis Morton
Charlestown—Nevis—Thursday 21st May was a very significant day for the Teachers and students of the Nevis Academy.
The school which has been noted for producing outstanding students and innovative programs hosted a debate between some of the older students at the school.
Parents, well wishers and some students from the VOJN Primary School showed up in their numbers to witness the event, which was held at the school.
The moot for the debate was: “Tourism benefits all.”
The proposition team consisted of Josselyne Essien and Ayinde George, while the opposing team was comprised of Rebecca Chowtipersad and Odecia Edwards.
The moderator for the day’s event which was sponsored by Warner’s One Stop, was former Youth Tourism Minister, Rol’j Williams who ably directed the proceedings.
The judges were, Ms. Zahnela Claxton, Mr. John Hanley and Ms. Kamara Lee.
Leader of the proposition, Josselyne Essien noted that a record 26 million visitors spent a record 29 million US dollars in the Caribbean, during 2014.
She pointed to the resulting preservation of historic sites and traditions as a huge plus for her argument.
Leader of the proposition Rebecca Chowtipersad was adamant that her worthy opponents were badly misled.
She agreed that the Tourism Industry is one of the major industries in the Caribbean. She opined that most of the Tourism related jobs at the managerial level, are given to foreigners, while locals are normally given more menial tasks.
She quoted Sir Ronald Sanders as stating that ‘a racial divide exist between the owners of the Tourism Industry and the workers at the local establishments in the Caribbean.’
She also pointed out that many cruise ship passengers do not leave the ships and so it does not really benefit the local shops and taxi drivers.
Ayinde George who was given special commendation for persisting with his presentation despite suffering from the flu, supported the proposition’s case by looking at the benefits of Tourism to the environment.
Odecia Edwards supported the opposition’s case by opining that the Tourism Industry has led to the decline in cultural norms and pointed out that many locals are eating more Chinese Food and KFC. She stated that even the music that the locals listen to and the way they dress, have also been negatively influenced by the flourishing Tourism Industry.
She also blamed the increase of crime, on the tourism industry as well.
Miss Zahnela Claxton who spoke on behalf of the judges complimented all of the participants in the debate for a job well done but asked them to work a little more on their voice modulation and pronunciation.
She also stated that the opposition team was leading after the preliminary presentations but was overtaken by the proposition team after the rebuttal segment.
The results were as follows:
Best speaker: Josselyne Essien