Makinde Flags-off Southwest Zone President’s Inter-Secondary School Debate in Ibadan

Governor Seyi Makinde has flagged off the Southwest zone 2021 Inter- Senior Secondary School Debate Competition today.

The governor was represented by the State Commissioner for Education, Science, and Technology, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, who was accompanied by the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Alhaja Aminat Atere, and other top government officials of the Education ministry at the opening ceremony held at Ibadan Business School, Bodija, Ibadan.

When he spoke at the event, the commissioner charged secondary school students to inculcate healthy competition in their academic endeavors in order to succeed in life and take an active part in repositioning the state and the country.

He also opined that quality and effective debate is an essential ingredient of democracy in the modern world, emphasizing that without quality debate, electorates would never be able to engage politicians with whom the collective destiny of the people are entrusted for the duration of their terms.

Barrister Olaleye also explained that as one of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration’s agenda points, the education sector plays a crucial role in Nation building, and thereby an investment in Secondary school debates will bring an important improvement in the sector.

He further added that within two years, several measures and reforms have been put in place, such as free, accessible, and quality education for all, with free textbooks and notebooks for students in public schools to promote sound education, all of which have contributed to Oyo State’s high performance and delivery rankings.

“In addition to the annual State quiz, debate and Spelling Bee competitions, the government is also promoting the participation of Oyo students in national competitions with the intention of sponsoring deserving students for international competitions, to boost their talents, skills and as well, inculcate qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork, and cooperation among the students who are the leaders of tomorrow.”

“Debating is one of the best tools available to a student for development of his or her oratory skills as well as the confidence to express themselves effectively, so it should be promoted by the government, private organizations and individuals, so that we can put our education quality where we desire.”

The National Coordinator, President’s Schools’ Debate Nigeria, Elder Dare Oritu also spoke at the event and in his opening remarks, opined that the importance of debating to the country and the world cannot be overemphasized, adding that debate has been widely used across the world as a tool for dialogue between conflicting interests.

He maintained that the significant role of debating in democratic nations includes the resolution of conflicts among diverse groups, which has made some impact in Nigeria, despite her numerous challenges.

He however expressed his hope that the competition would achieve the desired success and admonished the Judges to discharge their duties without fear or favor, urging them to encourage debaters to play according to the laid down rules and regulations.

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