The almanac Botswana Schools Debate Championships has been applauded by the organiser stakeholders for empowering and molding students into potential future leaders, based on the prospects that comes with the competitions.
The local debate body, Botswana Institutions Debate Association (BIDA) in partnership with Botswana Accountancy College (BAC), spearheaded this year’s debate championships. The debates were hosted concurrently in Gaborone and Francistown respectively with junior and secondary schools across corners of the country participating.
Speaking during the official opening of the debates, the chairman of BIDA Galejesepe Thupanne highlighted that the purpose of the championships is to widen the exposure of debate and improving eloquence and confidence in pupils.
He further asserted that the debates offers platform for students to turn into good leaders as well as developing good academic skills such as research skills as well as being strong assertive leaders in future. He also added “The debates mold students while they are still young to turn into leaders in their schools and communities because they develop good listening, research skills and self-confidence and often take on strong leadership positions in work environment as well”.
According to Thupanne, the debates comes with good opportunities based on the fact that the best debators both from the north and south region will also have an opportunity to be selected into the debate national team and will be able to represent the country during the World Schools debate competitions to be held in Zagreb, Croatia sometimes this year.
He further urged students to develop a career out of the debates because they have the ability to equip them with lifelong skills through which they can earn a living for themselves in future, adding that the cultivated sound leadership skills will definitely produce critical-thinking students capable of positively and profoundly have impact on the society at large.
Meanwhile, when giving opening remarks the BAC Communications Manager Refilwe Tlamelo emphasised that BAC-BIDA partnership in facilitating the debates is an effort of stakeholder participation in building and empowering of future leaders as well as grooming talent to drive economic diversification.
“This initiative is very capable of diversifying the country‘s economy as the motions that the pupils raises have the potential to bring policies and ideas on how the country’s economy can be diversified. The debates can also create employment for this students in future endeavours” asserted Tlamelo.
Botswana Accountancy College Debate Club president Tsotlhe Mabusela also encouraged the students to continue debating in future in order to develop more leadership qualities and have stories to tell through debates. She further urged schools and teachers to establish support and run effective debate clubs in their respective schools.
The Southern region championship on the junior secondary schools category was won by Bokamoso Junior Secondary School and Linchwe junior taking home position two. The southern senior secondary school category saw Maruapula taking home the crown and St Joseph’s College finishing on position two. On the northern region Mater Spei College took position one on the senior schools category and Masunga senior took position two, while Rutwang junior school took the first prize followed by Setlalekgosi School on position two.
Sydney Kuda and Mmokeng Selogelo emerged as the best debaters or speakers in the southern region senior and junior schools categories respectively.