The St Vincent and the Grenadines Community College (SVGCC) will participate in the inaugural Windward Islands Debating Competition (WIDC) which is scheduled to take place in St Lucia from the 2nd – 4th March, 2017. The WIDC will be hosted by the Sir Arthur Lewis Community College and the competition will take place at the Coco Palm Hotel, Gros Islet. The other two participating Colleges are the Dominica State College and the T. A. Marryshow Community College, representing Grenada. The debate will run over a two-day period with teams participating in a semi-final and final round.
The SVGCC will be represented by four students from the Division of Arts Sciences and General Studies. They are: Abigail Scott, Danay Ferguson, Gerard Porter and Aaron Weekes. They will be accompanied by Deputy Director, Mrs. Eula Adams and Communication Studies Lecturer, Ms. Nerline Ballantyne.
The idea of a WIDC originated with the dream of the founder of the Leeward Islands Debating Competition (LIDC) to see the entire OECS engaged in a program of debating as part of a strategy for Caribbean Youth Leadership Development. After seeing the success of the LIDC for over 40 years, Dr J. A. George Irish envisaged this as a logical next step towards an OECS debating championship before 2020.
The competition will be among the four state colleges in the Windward Islands and it will be hosted by a different territory each year. The host country; St Lucia promises to have a live streaming of the competition so that persons in the other territories can follow the proceedings.
1. Goal of the Competition
The WIDC seeks to:
- Develop Students who are skilled researchers/ research skills of students
- Refine students’ public speaking skills
- Promote deeper engagement of tertiary level students
- Inspire other college students and adults viewing debates
2. Vision for the Competition
Through the WIDC, the Community Colleges of the Windward Islands seek to fulfil their mandate as tertiary level institutions to develop the higher order and critical thinking skills of their students by providing them with a forum which is grounded in research, focuses on the planning and organizing of information in a convincing manner and which encourages the framing of evidence-based arguments. The aim of the WIDC is also to reinforce the multidisciplinary approach which is needed to assess the needs of Caribbean societies and nurture critical thinkers who will help shape the democratic societies of the Caribbean region. Thus, the WIDC also seeks to develop confident individuals who are able to speak out on issues relevant to Caribbean development.
It is also hoped that this competition will foster character building and help nurture responsible citizens. Further, the event will serve to promote regional integration, collegial information sharing and cultural exchanges.