The grand prize winners, the team from The Rock Christian Primary School, posing with (from left, background) - Marketing Manager for Chefette, Lisa Carter; Speaker of the House, Michael Carrington; Minister of Education, Ronald Jones; Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Chris Sinckler (third right) and MP for St Michael West Central, James Paul among others.

Battle of the West competition to go national

Plans are under way to make the St. Michael’s Battle of the West Primary School Quiz Competition a national competition.

This was revealed by the Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Christopher Sinckler, who spoke with the Barbados Advocate yesterday after the culmination of this year’s Finals.

He said that the idea would be to have the schools compete in their respective school zones and then the winners of these zones would come together to compete.

“We want to grow it. We want to keep adding and to do it island wide and to have a major zonal competition in this type of activity and then to bring the leaders of the zones towards a national quiz competition and that is really the goal.”

He said that they wanted to make sure that they had developed this competition fully first before deciding to expand it.

“I would say in about two years. I think we have a fairly good set now in terms of the competition, its rules, how it is run … We wanted to make sure that we got that mastered first before we attempted to go too big. I think that we now have a fairly well organised system and it has been proven now – at least in the last three years – to be running almost absolutely perfect. That is what we wanted to do before we set off on too big of a platform.”

Sinckler stated that they would also be looking to add more categories to the competition. “I think next year one of the things that we are going to add is a speak-off. The competition is going to be a speak-off where students are going to be given a topic and then they are going to write a one to one-and-a-half page essay and then they would come here and contend – the proposition and the opposition – and that is to help to develop their speaking skills – their oratory skills – and their presentation skills as well.”

He said that one of the reasons why he decided to start an initiative such as this one was because he wanted to provide an avenue for these youth to develop a knowledge of their history, the social-economic structure and political landscape of Barbados and their culture, then to showcase the knowledge that they would have learnt.

Sinckler stated that the schools have responded well to the competition. In fact, it has grown from five schools when they first started out to 11 schools to date and they continue to get requests from other primary schools who have shown an interest in participating in this competition and this is another reason why they would be looking to increase the number of schools that participate in this competition.

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