Formal education does more harm than good - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 10th December 2013

On the 21st of November, Conor Murray, Sam Powell, and Louis Gunning (above) from Poetry represented Clongowes in the third round of the ‘Rigby-Jones Memorial’ Debating Competition. Named after the late industrialist Michael Rigby-Jones, the competition attracts teams from all over the county, including Clongowes.  This year the event was hosted in Clongowes with three other schools attending on the night: St Mary’s of Naas, Holy Family of Newbridge and Newbridge College. Clongowes competed against Newbridge College in the first of the two debates, opposing the motion that ‘formal education does more harm than good’.

Conor Murray, the captain of the Clongowes team, spoke about the social benefits of formal education. He made the point that without school we would not develop the social skills necessary to make friends. Then, Sam Powell spoke about how formal education guarantees equal access to a high quality of learning. Finally, Louis Gunning spoke about how formal education ensures that teachers are qualified and responsible individuals. Despite some strong speeches from the Newbridge College side, Clongowes came out on top and won the debate.

Unfortunately the Clongowes team will not progress further in the competition as they lost some of the earlier rounds. That honour goes to St Mary’s who defeated Holy Family in the second debate of the night and will go on to represent South Kildare in the next stage of the competition.

All in all, it was a great night; there was a lively atmosphere in Room 3 and there was an excellent turn-out from Poetry as well as a strong contingent of parents.

 We would like to thank Mr. Adam Conry for coaching the debaters and Mr. Frank Kelly for supervising the debate on the night.

Conor Murray (Poetry)

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