24 teachers from 12 schools competed in the second edition of the debate Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: As many as 24 teachers from 12 GEMS Education schools in the UAE competed in the second edition of the ‘Madam Mariamma Varkey Commemorative Debate for Teachers’ instituted in memory of Mariamma Varkey, a pioneer in the UAE’s education sector and founder of the first school under GEMS Education Group.

With the tagline ‘Argue, Agitate, Arrive,’ the debate was hosted by the winners of the inaugural edition, GEMS Our Own Indian School (OOIS), Dubai.

The debate was over the motion ‘The only indicator of a teacher’s performance is the student’s test scores’.

Juanita Gonsalves of GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah - Boys Branch, clinched the title of the Best Speaker for the motion while Annika Jisu Babu from GEMS Modern Academy in Dubai was adjudged the Best Speaker against the motion.

Both won an iPad along with trophies. Lifting the rolling trophy this year was the team from GEMS Our Own English High School, Sharjah - Boys branch, which will host the third edition of the debate.

Celebrating the legacy

Lalitha Suresh, principal, GEMS Our Own Indian School, Dubai, whose team organised the event, said: “It was indeed an excellent way to celebrate the life and work of Madam Varkey, the pioneering educationist whose legacy we are all proudly a part of.”

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Michael Guzder, Senior Vice President, Education, at GEMS Education, was the guest of honour. As moderator, Nargish Khambatta, senior vice president, Education, GEMS Education, regaled the audience with comments and humour throughout the course of the debate.

The panel of judges comprised Jonathan Bramley, Vice President, Communications, GEMS Education; Dr Swapna Koshy, an eminent academician; and David George, GEMS Our Own Indian School alumnus and publisher at Gulf News.

The event was attended by principals of various GEMS schools and their cheering squads and was followed by live music, conversations and camaraderie among the teaching fraternity.