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Ethnic Relations Commission
66 Peter Rose & Anira Streets, Queenstown, Georgetown, Guyana
Tel. +592-231-6479, 231-6473,
231-6281, 231-6265
Fax: +592-231-6246

June 11, 2007

PRESS RELEASE

Bygeval, New Amsterdam Multilateral secure places in ERC debate semi-finals

Bygeval and New Amsterdam Multilateral Schools have secured their places in the semi-finals of the Ethnic Relations Commission (ERC) Inter-Secondary Schools competition.

Bygeval defeated New Silver City Secondary while New Amsterdam copped its victory from Covent Garden Secondary, yesterday at the National Centre for Educational Resource Development (NCERD) where the schools debated the moot “interracial marriages present the only hope for racial harmony in Guyana.”
Bygeval Multilateral opposed the moot; it examined other ways in which racial harmony can be achieved, one being the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities among the citizens of all ethnic groups. New Silver City proposed the moot from a socio-cultural perspective. It drew attention to the value of interracial marriages on social cohesion, stating that the fusion of difference races results in an elimination of the fear of the unknown since an intimate understanding of each partner’s cultural background will be effected.

Chief Judge, Senior Probation Officer with the Ministry of Labour and a former head teacher, Mr. Aggrey Azore, in his summation of that debate applauded the efforts of both teams to stand in front of an audience to present their arguments. Best Debater commendations went to Latchmin Bhagwan, second speaker for Bygeval. The other members of that team were Shanelle Charles and Leon Welcome. Peter Andrews, Chrystal Halley and Tiffany Stoll represented New Silver City Secondary.

The Chief Judge said that the panel of judges was enthused with the debate between New Amsterdam Multilateral and Covent Garden Secondary. He added that he was especially pleased with the rebuttals. 

“Very often when we judge debates there are positives and negatives, but in this debate, we really had to search hard to find the negatives,” the Chief Judge said. He noted that there was good use of argumentative devices such as rhetorical questions and evidence from research which was related to the moot and to the Guyanese context. Special mention was made of what Azore described as “dynamic charismatic presentations” by the members of New Amsterdam Multilateral team. Niomi Christie, second speaker of New Amsterdam, was adjudged Best Debater.

Aniesa Alonzo and Liza Ward comprised the remainder of that team. Covent Garden Secondary was represented by Maria Rhius, Jenella Blackman and Yeolena Callender.

The ERC debate continues on June 18 with New Amsterdam and Bygeval competing in the semi finals for a place in the finals. The Institute of Business Education and President’s College will be vying for a place in the finals when they come up against each other on June 19.

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