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Pupils of six secondary schools in Tobago using the dance, drama and satire of the Tobago Speech Band emphasised the importance of Integrity in our everyday life during a competition sponsored by the Integrity Commission of Trinidad and Tobago.

Mason Hall Secondary’s “Crusaders” with 260 points and Scarborough Secondary with 214 points, to the lusty cheers of fellow pupils, teachers and representatives of the Tobago Division of Education, placed first in the Forms One to Three and Forms Four to Six categories of the Integrity Commission’s “Do Right Champions” competition held at the Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute on February 7.

Integrity Commissioners Dr Shelly Ann Lalchan and Deonarine Jaggernauth, Registrar Martin Farrell and a team from the Commission were on hand to witness the pupils having fun with their literary work and amusing satire.

The Speech Band in Tobago’s oral tradition reintroduces a fiddler at the end of each verse with the words, “Drag yuh bow Mr Fiddler!” During the competition pupils, some in masquerade gave voice to issues of social importance, often with a humorous or satirical twist that threw the audience into fits of laughter and applause.

Results of the competition:

Forms Four to Six pupils:
Mason Hall Secondary School — 260 points
Scarborough Secondary School — 225 points
Signal Hill Secondary School — 222 points
Goodwood High School — 202 points

Forms One to Three pupils:
Scarborough Secondary School — 214 points

Six of the nine secondary schools in Tobago registered for the Speech Band competition on the theme of Integrity — “Do The Right Thing Always.” Each Speech Band consisted of four to six players accompanied by the Mt Cullane Tambrin band of musicians. The adjudicators included Phyllis Armstrong, Kenetta Bobb, Pat Mitchel and Eric Powder.

The Speech Band competition was a fun way of involving Tobago pupils in performing literary works on the theme of Integrity in the native tradition. The “Do Right Champions” competition helps fulfil the Integrity Commission’s mandate “to carry out public education initiatives to foster an understanding of the standards of Integrity.”

Secondary school pupils in Trinidad will perform Monologues while pupils of primary schools were requested to write short stories and descriptive reports. Six hundred and fifty-three entries were received from 126 schools – 71 per cent from primary schools and 36 per cent from secondary schools. Results of all competitions will be published shortly. An awards ceremony will be held next month.
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