Agbede Senior Secondary School, Ikorodu outscored Vetland Senior Grammar School, Agege and Oregun High School, Oregun to the second and third positions to emerge winner of the N1 million Cash Prize in the recently concluded Lagos State annual Senior Secondary Schools’ Debate competition.
Speaking at the event, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule stated that the competition, introduced by the State Government as part of a well-structured plan to produce socially stable and self -reliant students who can easily integrate into the larger society, is no doubt serving its purpose.
Adebule said that there has been a great improvement in the public speaking and confidence building of competing students on yearly basis, adding that their use of English has also developed tremendously.
In her words “The delivery of the well-researched topics and the ease with which salient points are marshalled makes the quality of argument and presentation of points very impressing, convincing and highly interesting”.
She maintained that the brilliant performance of the pupils and students in various Quiz and Debate competitions, at the State and National levels, can be ascribed to the enormous investment made by the state government in schools’ infrastructure, capacity building and need-specific recruitment of teachers.
While commending teachers for working tirelessly to prepare the children for a future leadership role, the Deputy Governor pledged that the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode led administration will continue to do everything possible to improve service delivery in the state public schools.
She, however, advised students in public and private schools to devote more time to their studies, shun vices such as internet fraud, hooliganism, rape, examination malpractice, alcoholism and drug abuse.
Earlier in her welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye disclosed that 3,015 schools comprising 1,688 public and 1,329 private schools registered for this year’s competition as against 631 students of the preceding year.
According to her, the Zonal Preliminaries for Government Primary, Junior and Senior Schools took place at the 20 Education Zones and Districts, while those of the Private schools were conducted by their associations to ensure that their best candidates were fielded.
Adekanye said all the participating students were taken through a grooming session where they were taught how to handle their topics of debate like marshalling their salient points, neat appearance, eloquence, delivery and composure amongst others.
The elimination series according to her was keenly contested. “In many cases, half mark or one mark made the difference in who proceeds to the next level. It was highly interesting and captivating”, she enthused.
The winners in the Junior and Primary School Category were Idimu Junior High School, Alimosho and Military Nursery/Primary School, Yaba who defeated Community Junior High School, Debojo and Araromi Primary School, Gbagada respectively.
Winners of the Individual Speakers competition and indeed all participants in the finals of the debate were also handsomely rewarded by the Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode.