Award winning Gateway state prestigious hotel and conference centers, Park Inn by Raddisson, held its third edition of Schools debate in conjunction with Kola Obadimu Junior Playhouse, yesterday 27th of February 2019, in Kuto, Abeokuta, Ogun State. The event which was sponsored by Kenya Airways and Air Namibia is gradually becoming the rave in education and moral training.
The event consisted of two rounds of debates where two different schools came head to head on cogent topics dealing with the economy of the country, Nigeria while Yoruba Nollywood hall of fame actor, Yemi Shodimu compered the educative program. The students were accompanied by their coordinators and a significant member of students made up the audience. The first round of debate was between Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School, Osiele and Nobelhouse College, Abeokuta, debating on: Africa as a Center Core of Nigeria’s Foreign Policy is Outdated and Should be Discarded.
Salawu Abiola was on the supporting side while Nobelhouse opposed the motion. The debate started off with the three speakers from each school being introduced and called to the podium; one main speaker and two supporting speakers. The judges on seat were: Mr Thompson Adebowale, Mr Abiodun Bello, Prof Kolawole Adebayo (who served as the Chief Judge), Ms Kiitan Oyesiku and Mr Kola Ojelade. The rules were simple. Each contestant was to be judged on Content, Style and Strategy and the winner must have the highest points from 3 of the judges.
With these set, the debate competition kicked off with the supporting side arguing that Nigeria has suffered in the hands of the foreign policy which gave other African countries leverage to plow the nation’s riches. The speakers further expounded that Nigeria has lost its position as the giant of Africa but is only trying to buy back this status by auctioning its wealth. However, the opposing side suggested that Nigeria should even be put on the security council in the UN as they are most suitable to hold that position. The supporting speaker finished by saying that the international body only see Africa and not the countries in it and so, any help they’ll render is to Africa. We can as well step up and own that to our advantage.
While awaiting the announcement of the results, the representative of the ministry of education Mr Martin Akisolu commended all parties supporting the program for a job well done. He also commented on the debating system. He said:
“The debating system is different from the old by raising the POI. We want this same system to be in all the schools, both primary and secondary, and taught to all students and pupils.”
He also praised the participants from both private and public schools and proudly remarked that “three public schools qualified for the semi-final of the competition and I’m very proud of you all. Keep the fire burning”
The judges came on to announce Salawu Abiola Comprehensive High School as the winner of that particular round with a 3-2 odd. After a brief intermission for felicitations and whatnot, Mr Shodimu commended the contestants for their comportment during the debate and even after the results were announced. This ushered us into the second round where another set of schools were introduced. The schools were Area Community High School, Owode and Abeokuta Grammar School. The topic given was: The Local Government Tier is No Longer Relevant in Nigeria’s Policy.
At this point, the Chief Judge, Professor Kolawole Adebayo, clarified the system of the debate. After introducing the other judges and stating the scoring formula, he went on to emphasize the time frame with the help of the timekeeper and threw more like on the POI. The debate started immediately with the supporting side arguing that the local government is only an appendage of the state government and that the local government only exists as a means for private accumulation of wealth and hence, not relevant to Nigeria’s policy. The opposing side came with a strong rebuttal that saying local government is irrelevant is akin to saying it should be scraped and such a motion can be likened to throwing the baby with the baby water. Rather, the local government should be given autonomy and amendment.
After a grueling battle of words from all the speakers on both sides, entertainment was provided by Ashero High School which presented a poem and playlet on political violence while Crown College rendered a song on believing in Nigeria. Afterwards, Area Command Owode lost to Abeokuta Grammar School with a whooping odd of 4-1. The event ended by 1:15 with music and sumptuous refreshments provided by Park Inn by Raddisson.