Aug 11, 2017 News
The “Government” successfully debated four motions in the National Assembly yesterday at the third annual sitting of Youth Parliament.
Minister of Education, Nicolette Henry, the chief judge of a panel of three judges which included Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack and Dr. Valerie Leung, announced the winners, but pointed out that the decision was not unanimous.
Before announcing the winners, Minister Henry said she was impressed with the quality of the presentations by the 40 secondary school students from nine administrative regions.
“You all are winners in your own right, and we noted that you displayed intelligence, confidence and communication skills,” Minister Henry said.
The government side successfully defended the capping of Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, combating suicide, and the establishment of a local oil refinery. These motions were brought by the opposition side of the House.
The House was unanimous in its support, however, for the United Nations Secretary General to move to the International Court of Justice to bring final settlement to the longstanding Guyana/Venezuela border controversy. This motion was moved by the government side of the House.
Minister of Public Health Tyriq Scott was awarded Best Debater. He told the Department of Public Information (DPI) that the win came as a surprise, but the experience was “very informative”. “I hope to be a mentor next year,” Scott said. However, the aspiring lawyer said he does not foresee a future in the National Assembly.
Meanwhile, Shadow Minister of Foreign Affairs Sherlyn Semple was adjudged the Best Speaker. She said she was “elated” by the win. “It did not come easy, because I worked really hard I did not sleep last night at all,” she told the DPI.
Semple said the experience has rekindled her passion for debating. The New Amsterdam Multilateral Secondary School student is an aspiring lawyer.
“Impressive”, “sharp”, “proud”, were the words that were repeated by Members of Parliament and the general public when the sitting concluded.
“You did an excellent job,” DPP Shalimar Ali-Hack, said in her congratulatory remarks to the students, while Dr. Leung was impressed with the level of preparation and detail that was put into the presentations.
Minister within the Ministry of Finance, Jaipaul Sharma, commended the students for “the exuberance that was displayed” while Member of Parliament Jermaine Figueira praised them for exhibiting “wisdom beyond level of comprehension”.
Opposition Member of Parliament Harry Gill said the students’ performance during the sitting was proof that “the future of Guyana is indeed in good hands” and MP Pauline Sukhai said she was impressed with how “sharp” the presentations were.
An emotional Rob Bobb Semple, an observer in the public gallery, told the students he was “extremely proud of each and every one of them”.
This year’s sitting of Youth Parliament was held under the theme “Our Generation, Our Voice to Inspire, Encourage, Impact”.
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