The annual staging of the Team Action International Inc. (TAII) Speech Festival, held since 2014 for primary and secondary school students, was today endorsed by Education Minister, Ronald Jones.
Speaking at the official launch of the October 26 to 28 festival at Southern Palms Beach Club, St. Lawrence Gap, Christ Church, he commended TAII’s organisers and sponsors Digicel and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), for encouraging children to read, write and communicate.
Acknowledging that for some students writing and communicating ideas effectively may become problematic, Mr. Jones said: “These are things which we should all conquer and harness from quite young through our interaction… our ability to speak and to do so effectively, through our ability to read and imagine.”
He recalled his own foray into reading via the use of the library, and told the students several good writers were “out there” to teach the virtues of literature and enable them to better communicate.
He stressed: “For you to truly love life and appreciate the nuances of life, you have to widen your own horizons by looking, reading and appreciating the words and writings of others…I want to encourage you to break out of the self-imposed controls, to read more and to get into the literature of life.”
The Education Minister also encouraged the students to join the debating society, drama club or the Inter-school Christian Fellowship at their schools to enhance their communication skills.
Communications Specialist with UNICEF, Patrick Knight, explained that participation by students was an area his organisation wanted to see more of. He added that it was for this reason UNICEF never hesitated to collaborate with TAII as “it could only redound to the benefit of schools, students and society”.
Meanwhile, Principal of Charles F. Broome Memorial Primary, Dr. Monica Walton, in lauding TAII, noted it was a non-profit organisation which partners with governmental and non-governmental agencies, community-minded organisations and institutions to contribute to the development of Barbados and the region.
Explaining further, she said it provided participants with the tools needed to enhance the speech and development process.
“In addition, this programme will continue to present the participants with the necessary apparatus to merge literary content with the delivery style and to correlate such with the issues or topics presented in a speech forum,” Dr. Walton stated.