Six students of NorthGate College have been selected to draft a position paper to be presented to the Prime Minister and Government of Trinidad and Tobago, putting forward solutions to make the nation more productive and competitive.

The six students are Zoe Howard, Chinyere Brown, Zakiya Nurse, Patrick Seepaul, Brandon McIntyre and Samuel Williams, who will join student delegates from a few other national secondary schools to draft the position paper.

The process leading up to their selection started in August 2009, when the American Chamber of Commerce of Trinidad and Tobago (AMCHAM TT) launched the inaugural National Youth Productivity Forum with the intent to encourage critical thinking, around weighty issues, among the nation’s upper secondary school students. The theme for this year’s forum was: Towards a more productive Trinidad and Tobago: A roadmap to national competitiveness.

NorthGate College was among twenty schools participating in a series of district-wide forums. Each school was required to present a position paper offering suggestions from the next level of leadership in the country on how to make Trinidad and Tobago more productive, and raise the country’s standings on the Global Competitiveness Index. Schools were asked to focus on one of four sectors: Civil Society, Business, Labour and Government.

The NorthGate College students were given the Business Sector. They did their own research and preparation on their own, with guidance from their teachers, and significant input from Mr. Ronald Hinds, Director of Teleios Systems Ltd and one of the leaders of the Congress Corporate sector of Congress WBN.

After an impressive performance in their district-level forum, the NorthGate College students were selected to present at a National Youth Productivity Forum in late February. At the final forum, the NorthGate College students again impressed judges. The comments from the judges revealed that they were particularly impressed by their use of language, their knowledge of the subject area, their use of technology and their command of the audience. The results, which were posted on AMCHAM’s website ( in late February, announced that NorthGate College was the winner of the Business Sector.

Mrs Natasha Smith, one of the teachers who worked with the student delegation, stated that the school had also taken a strategic decision to use the competition as an opportunity to train the next generation of NorthGate College public speakers and debaters.  Students from Forms 2 to 6 had accompanied the team to the final forum, in order to immerse them in the culture of critical thinking. It sounds like we can expect to hear more developments from Northgate College very soon!