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BEST pupils to examine Covid vaccine rollout in international debate contest

Students from three BEST academies will join forces with peers across the world to consider how fair the Covid-19 vaccine rollout has been globally.

The international debate competition will involve Samuel Whitbread, Etonbury and Robert Bloomfield Academies, along with schools from Scotland, Zimbabwe and Nigeria.

It is being organised in conjunction with the Fair Justice System for Scotland (FJSS) Group, and builds on a debate about slave trader statues the organisation and pupils from Samuel Whitbread and Robert Bloomfield staged earlier this year.

Joining the three BEST academies in the competition are Erskine Stewart’s Melville Schools and The Royal High School in Ednburgh, Mandate Private College in Lagos, Nigeria’s largest city, and Peterhouse Boys School in Marondera, 50 miles outside the Zimbabwean capital, Harare.

Samuel Whitbread history teacher Julia Haynes, who is also history lead teacher and head of academics for BEST, said: “We are very excited to be working with the FJSS again on an even bigger and more ambitious debate competition.

“This time, our theme is the very pertinent debate as to how fairly the Covid vaccine should be distributed globally, and we have a series of events organised.”

In the first round, taking place at 3.45pm on Wednesday 17 November, each school will give a short presentation about the current vaccination situation in their country and locality.

This will be followed by two evenings of debates on Monday 22 and Tuesday 23 November, before a final from 5pm on Thursday 25 November.

Dr Haynes added: “The first and last events are online and we welcome an audience to join us to learn more about the ways in which different countries and localities are fighting this pandemic and whether there should be a global solution to this problem.”

* If you’re interested in watching these virtual events, email for further information.


Pictures: From top, the student debate teams from Etonbury Academy, Samuel Whitbread Academy and Robert Bloomfield Academy