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How Salawu Abiola Emerged as Winner of Park Inn by Raddisson Schools Debate

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The grand finale of the Park Inn by Raddisson Schools debate held on Wednesday, the 21st of March 2019. The event had students from Area Community High School, Owode and NobelHouse College battling for third place while student representatives from Abeokuta Grammar School and Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School slugged it out for the most cherished first place.

The event which started last year with 47 schools had gone through a series of eliminations that brought about the last 4 Schools to battle for top 3. This time, the competition was no different but the hall was packed with student representatives from all schools who had participated, their coordinators and their parents. We also had ambassadors of the airlines that sponsored the event, Air Namibia and Kenya Airways.

The erudite judges were on seat to score the students led by Professor Kolawole Adebayo who served as the Head judge. He maintained the position of the judges scoring each speaker based on content, style and strategy. He also reiterated that each judge will work independently of each other and that the school with the highest odds takes the crown. He also ran through the rules and regulations guiding each round of debate.

The first round, which was to determine who won third place commenced immediately as Mr Yemi Shodimu, the official compere of the event invited the debaters to the podium. The topic; Unicameral Legislative System Should Be Adopted Instead of the Current Bicameral Legislative System in Nigeria. Area Community High School representatives were to support this motion while NobelHouse College’s opposed. Each speaker came forward with strong points. Unfortunately, NobelHouse College lost to Area Community High School unanimously. This put Area Community High School in the third place of the Park Inn by Raddisson Schools Debate.

While we readied for the last and final round, presentations from students on pertinent moral, social, economic and even psychological topics such as “juvenile delinquency”, “proactivity”, “determination” and “envy”. These presentations ranged from talks to spoken word to poetry and dance.

Certificates of participation to teachers were also presented by the publisher of PublicFaces Magazine, Miss Bola Solate with consolation prizes for each school.

This ushered us into the next round where Abeokuta Grammar School and Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School were invited to the podium to battle for the first place. The topic; Quota System Should Be Abolished in Admission and Employment System in Nigeria. Salawu Abiola student representatives led by Adeboye Mercy were to support this motion while Abeokuta Grammar School representatives Rasak Amolegbe and Comfort Ijaola led by the small but mighty Kolajo Ajayi were on the opposing side.

The debate kicked off and both sides brought their A-game in defending their position. The battle came to a head when the opposing side’s chief speaker appealed to the audience as a fiery union leader to side with the quota system to promote the motto of unity and faith in the country, after which the supporting side’s chief speaker dropped the bombshell that she is from the North and continuing with the quota system was an act of putting square pegs in round holes. This disabled the opposing side’s argument. However, the tension was high on was to be announced winner of this edition of Park Inn by Raddison Schools Debate.

While the judges collated their results, Mr Tambu Nneji gave a talk on “Education and the Nigerian Child”.  He called for the parents and guardians to celebrate every child seated in the room as each one is a champion in his or her own right.

Soon after, the results were announced and Abeokuta Grammar School lost to Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School with a 4-1 odd. Salawu Abiola was hence declared the winner of the third edition of the Park Inn by Raddison Schools Debate by Kola Obadimu Junior Playhouse.

Thereafter, there were presentation of gifts to the unbiased judges and consolation prizes to the most outstanding speakers throughout the competition from different schools. Trinity International High School was also rewarded for their comportment and show of sportsmanship. The second runner up, Area Community High School were also given their prize while the first runner up and the winner were given their boarding pass gifted by Air Namibia and Kenya Airways along with cash prizes and other consolation prizes. While the festivities were ongoing, refreshments were served by Park Inn by Raddison.

The event ended around 3:40pm as Park Inn drew the curtain on this edition of the schools debate by Kola Obadimu Junior Playhouse.

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