Ulidia debating team tackles global issues

Ulidia sixth form students Anna Maguire, Daniel Kelly, Phoebe Cochrane and Lauren McDowell taking part in Concern Worldwide's school debates. INCT 14-702-CON CONCERN
Ulidia sixth form students Anna Maguire, Daniel Kelly, Phoebe Cochrane and Lauren McDowell taking part in Concern Worldwide's school debates. INCT 14-702-CON CONCERN

Young people from Carrickfergus have been airing their views on global issues as part an international aid debating challenge.

Ulidia Integrated College is one of nine schools across Northern Ireland to participate in the pilot scheme organised by Concern Worldwide. The competition has been running successfully in the Republic of Ireland for more than 30 years.

The sixth form pupils from Ulidia, who are studying English literature, science, sports studies and travel and tourism, described the debates as a “valuable experience”.

Students are tasked with putting together an argument for and against topics such as multi-national corporations and tax avoidance, genetically modified foods, climate change, population growth and overseas aid.

Peter Anderson, NI director of the international development agency, said: “The Concern debates aim to give young people a deeper awareness and understanding of global issues, encouraging them and their teachers to find a voice and help us fight the scandal of hunger and extreme poverty.”

Teacher Julie Guéret, who is co-ordinating the debates for the school, said: “This is a great opportunity for some of our students to formulate an argument, deliver a speech, stand up for their point of view and challenge their opponent’s opinion.

“It gives them the chance to consider how they would tackle some of the important issues that affect the lives of millions of people in the developing world.”

Ulidia met Our Lady and St Patrick’s College, Knock, in the first round.