On Friday, 8th February, 2019, the Junior Chamber International (JCI) Saint Vincent in collaboration with the Ministry of Education held the inaugural Secondary School Spanish Oral Competition at the Frenches House.
During the opening ceremony, Mr. Darrel Williams, Education Officer (Foreign Language), said that the aim of the competition is to help students to speak Spanish. He also noted that ‘it is one thing to learn to write the language but it’s another to speak it.’ Additionally, Mr. Williams stated that we are living in a multilingual society and he hopes that the ministry could partner with JCI Saint Vincent for French and other languages competitions.
President of JCI Saint Vincent, Shanniese Stewart, highlighted that the competition was being planned for a few years and JCI Saint Vincent is happy to partner with the Ministry of Education to see their plan come to fruition.
The competition saw five schools competing, namely; the Saint Vincent Girls’ High School, represented by Kayla Ballantyne, St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown, Ellenia Gaymes, St. Martin’s Secondary School, Christopher Campbell, Saint Vincent Grammar School, Alec Best and Thomas Saunders Secondary School, Shania Durrant.
The competition consisted of two parts, reading and dialogue. Each student was given two minutes to read a selected passage and 10 minutes to answer 16 questions.
At the end of the competition Kayla Ballantyne of the Saint Vincent Girl’s High School scored the most points to capture the first ever JCI/MOE Schools' Spanish Oral Competition. Alec Best from the St. Vincent Grammar School placed second and Ellenia Gaymes from the St. Joseph’s Convent Kingstown placed third. The top three winners also received cash prizes toward their CSEC Examination, first place $500, second $300 and third $200. They also received Spanish work books to assist with their studies.
Remarks were also made by Mrs.Aldia Dyer, Senior Education Officer at the Curriculum Development Unit, Mr. Keido Foster and Mr. Dennis Gaymes .