AL-FALAH primary school came out on top of the fourth annual Republic Bank Right Start primary school speech contest yesterday, with student Hafsa Chothia taking the top spot. The 11-year-old Chothia impressed with her presentation. She recently earned a position for Harrison College in the common entrance examination but will be staying at Al-Falah to pursue her secondary education.
Twenty-two schools and 40 students aged nine to 11 entered the competition this year under the theme Literacy and six of them competed for first place at the Olympus Theatre. In addition to Al Falah, the finalists were Charles F. Broome; West Terrace; St Luke’s Brighton; Lawrence T. Gay and St Alban’s.
Communications assistant with Republic Bank and coordinator of the event, Katrina Kirton said the purpose of the speech day was to improve the public speaking skills of the participants. “We found that in secondary school, children did not have the confidence to speak in public or even the ability to speak well so we wanted to raise their confidence so they could speak in public without a negative swing,” she said, adding the competition involved workshops with the Sunjet Toastmasters Club.
Republic Bank managing director and chief executive officer Ian De Souza said they had been able to add new schools every year and they hoped to one day cater to all the primary schools in Barbados, adding they also hoped to see the contest replicated in all the countries Republic Bank operated in. “It is my true hope that they continue to build their oratorical skills and, with the self- confidence that these skills will no doubt lead to, that it also translates into the development of strong leadership skills and greater probability of success in their life’s endeavours,” he said.