High school students from various African countries have converged at Juja Preparatory and Senior Schools in Juja for the Mwalimu Nyerere Schools Invitational Debating Championship 2019 edition, the first to be held in the country.
The contest aims to bring together secondary school students and their
teachers, expose them to the world-schools’ debating style and instill confidence in the students at a tender age.
In attendance are students from Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda and Zimbabwe, Botswana, Rwanda, Namibia and South Africa and they will contest on topical issues of national and global importance.
Kenya National Debates Council (KNDC) Executive Director Rose Ndichu said exposing students to such contests at a young age enhanced their thinking, communication
and leadership skills, as well as democratic ethos.
This is the first time the World Schools Debate Format which is practiced in over 50
countries globally will be used in the country.
“Such forums expose students to competitive debating in their teen years, at the university level and later in future endeavours. This is how we grow great and visionary politicians and other leaders who can articulate the issues facing the common man,” she said.
Kiambu County Executive Committee member for Education Dr. Joseph Nganga who presided over the event Thursday called on schools to establish independent and thriving debating clubs, saying by so doing, students would sharpen their communication skills and enhance their confidence at a young age.
He said such contests should be held regularly to provide students with a competitive edge of handling challenges like their colleagues in other parts of the world.
“This will enable them understand the World better to be able to handle the challenges that lie ahead. We hope in future, even public schools in the rural areas will get their chance to host such events to put such schools at par with renowned academies,” he said.
Winners will fight it out with other selected groups in international tournaments.
Previous editions of the competition have been hosted in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
By Muoki Charles