Debating Promotes Dialogue •Young Debate Competition Winner Speaks On Her Experience
EDUCATORS have confirmed that tests and other forms of evaluation, such as examination, quiz, or debate, help students to discover their individual talents, promote excellence and also build self -confidence in them. However, this is against some sectional belief that examination is not the true test of one’s knowledge.
A few weeks ago, the Oyo State government organised a debate competition among select primary and secondary schools in the state.
One of the outstanding pupils in the competition, Oluwajeminipe Fasheun-Motesho, a 9-year-old girl from Desmag International School, Ibadan, Oyo state, spoke with Rising Stars about the competition and her opinion about children and education.
According to her, “my school was one of the schools invited to join other public and private primary schools in the state for its Inter-school debate competition, as part of the state’s activities to celebrate this year’s Children Day in Oyo State.
“I represented my school in the primary edition of the competition, and the topic was ‘Children are peacemakers in the society’. Debating is not only about winning, as it boosts cordial relationship among people, while also exposing them to learn from other people’s opinions. Debating is about knowledge sharing and also promoting reading culture, self-confidence and public speaking among the students.
“During my research on the debate topic, I learnt that children are innocent, loving and vulnerable and they need protection from adults. I also noted that children do not take sides when their parents have some misunderstanding; rather, they always look for means to settle the misunderstanding between their parents. Moreover, adults are responsible for children’s misbehaviour. This is because it is what the children see in adults that they copy,” she stated.
On the importance of debating, Jeminipe asserted that debating helps students to present their views on any issue without fighting, because it fosters peace among people. Sometimes, there is no way people will not disagree on issues, but the art of debating will solve these differences amicably.
Asked how she prepared for the competition, she said that a debater must understand the topic very well before the presentation which should start with an introduction. “A good debater must be ready to read wide and have an indepth knowledge of the topic including its proposing and opposing sides, as this will give the person a better background to argue the case effectively.
“Debating is the best way to train a child on how to dialogue and settle sensitive issues. Therefore, I want to recommend that every school should engage its students in debating exercises. In my school, debating is a compulsory extra-curricula activity and we hold it every Wednesday,” she said.
Jeminipe seems to support the argument that boarding schools are better for children. According to her, when a child is put in a boarding school, besides having full-time concentration on academic activities as is not usually the case at home, he or she will learn how to live, independent of his or her parents.
On child discipline, she also supports the use of cane to correct a child. In her opinion, “when parents beat their wards, it is not that they hate them. Beating (when neccessary) is an expression of love from parents to children, because through it, they correct their mistakes.
“I want to thank my parents for the quality education they are giving me. My school is one of the best private primary schools in the state.
“I also want to commend the Oyo State government for organising the programme for the pupils in the state.”
Rising Stars also found out that Jeminipe is aspiring to study Medicine in the university and she is promising that she would contribute her quota to the development of Nigeria via medical practice.