A team of debaters from Jibowu Junior High School, Lagos has emerged winner in the Concept Nova Debate for secondary schools with a total of 23.8 points. The winning team defeated the team from Wesley Junior Girls Secondary School, 22.6 points; Herbert Macauley Junior High School, 21.1 points and Onike Girls Junior High School, 19.1 points who were first, second and third runners-up respectively.
Eight teams debated the topic ‘Technology: Reducing the Quality of Human Interaction’ in the first round after which the four teams that advanced to the second round were given a new topic ‘Mobile Devices Should be Banned in All Schools’.
They were judged based on choice of words, stage presence, tenses, pronunciation, among others. Speaking at the event recently, the Executive Director of the company, Mr. Chukwuma Ochonogor, said as a company with a strong societal outlook, it not only looks to the success of the organisation, but the success of the society is important. “The most successful aspect is in the education of our young ones because they are the future leaders and the ones that will propel us and they are the ones that will take care of us so we are supposed to ensure that the people that will inherit the earth and planet and take it to the next level are properly groomed and educated so education of the youths is a big focus for the organisation.”
On the choice of students in junior secondary schools for the debate, he said such students are in their formative years because that is when they are growing from being almost children to forming an opinion about life. “From the quality of interactions that were submitted, these are young children that have a good appreciation of the environment.” He said the winning team will get a year scholarship in their current school in addition to the prizes they received at the end of the competition, while the school will decide what project it will like the company to fund. A teacher from the winning school, Mrs. Arise Morenike, who was visibly elated, said she was happy because it took her about three days to prepare the students for the debate and they emerged winner. “We got the topic last month and I started training junior secondary two (JS2) students, but they were not serious so few days to the competition I took the JS1 students and told them that I have faith in them and that they can do it and this is their first experience. I built the trust in them and they practiced for just three days.