Written word needs a boost

The quality of written communication is declining, says debate facilitator at the Alexandra School,

Rosemary Rudder. And she is calling for something to be done urgently to pull it back.

The Alexandra School are the winners of the inaugural National Secondary

School Debate.

24-01 Page 8Speaking at this morning’s presentation of prizes to the top two teams at the Barbados

Accreditation Council in Roebuck Street, she stressed the need for such debates to continue. The

moot of the debate this year was The Extensive Use Of Social Media Has A Negative

Impact On The Quality Of Written Communication.

Rudder stated that as an educator, interacting daily with students, she saw first-hand why such

a programme was so critical.

“The moot . . . is very timely, as there is an issue of burning concern with most educators: the

issue of quality of written expression at all levels, even at the university level. [There] has been a big

concern about students entering the university and their inability to articulate their ideas creatively,

effectively – and the influence of the Internet on the student’s ability to express themselves

effectively,” she said.

The debate, she said, not only gave participants the opportunity to relay and showcase their skills

in presenting arguments, but it also gave them an occasion to foster camaraderie, teamwork and

school spirit. Rudder said, particularly with respect to the Alexandra YAPS (Young Articulate Public

Speakers), that winning this debate was not just a victory for the club, but a triumph for the entire

Alexandra School body.

The YAPS team comprised Isobella Burnham, Aliyah Reid and Kobie Broomes. Among the prizes

they earned was a smart board, which Rudder vowed to put to good use to enhance teaching,

learning and indeed preparation for defending the title next year.

Second place went to The St Michael School, which included Benjamin Pires, Janaé Kellman and

Dia Parris.

Other participating schools were Springer Memorial, Harrison College, Princess Margaret

Secondary and the Frederick Smith Secondary.

In congratulating all participants, Barbados Accreditation Council (BAC) chairman Yvonne Walkes

also highlighted the importance of the debate. She said the BAC saw this initiative as a critical

component of its educational campaign to create a greater awareness of the concept of quality in

education at the secondary level.

“It is . . . critical to address issues that affect the quality of secondary education,” she said. (KC)

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