For the 6th year already we have organized the Debate Competition for the upper classes of primary schools in Mombasa-Changamwe together with the Magongo Quantum Youth Group. By debating, you not only stimulate the students’ English speaking skills, but their vocabulary also increases and they learn to think critically. There are 4 main components that are important when learning a language: listening, speaking, reading and writing. All four are worked on throughout the debate process. Moreover, the students at Kenyan schools really like competitions. This year the following schools participated:
- Brightons Academy
- Diplomat Academy
- Kingdom Heritage
- Bridge International
- Royal Academy
- Delvers Academy
- Port Reitz Special
- Greenfield Academy
- Mwijabu Primary
- Daystar Academy
The first round took place on 31 May. Then there were competitions on 7 and 28 June, 8 and 15 July. The final competition was on 26 July.
Every match there was a different motion to debate. The topics this year were:
- the placement system of schools is not good for the students
- boarding schools are good for students
- plastic bags should not be banned in Kenya
- homework should not be prohibited
- children should not be allowed on social media
In the end, Mwijabu Primary and Kingdom Heritage ended in the final. The last debate took place at Port Reitz Special School. All other participating schools had sent representatives to encourage the finalists.
Both finalists had a very strong team. The 3 girls who represented The Kingdom Heritage had done their homework very well. They seemed very confident, worked as a team and their language skills were exceptionally good. They managed to defend the motion ‘The 8-4-4 system of education should not be abolished’ so well. Anita in particular impressed everyone with her keen way of debating and with a lot of humor. The audience hung on her lips.
Mwijabu Primary – a public school – also did very well. Their team also consisted of only girls, striking. In their presentation they had a lot of evidence to support their points, such as newspaper clippings and other printed material.
In the end, the jury designated Kingdom Heritage as the winner of this competition. It was a nice and very attractive debate. There was a nice exchange prize for the winner, trophies for numbers 2 and 3 and for the best girl and boy speaker.
Moreover, the finalists received an extra prize: a day out with the whole team to Mombasa Beach. This outing will probably be planned for September. Photos will certainly also be made and shared.
It was certainly a very successful competition. The participating schools have done their very best and we see the level of debating improve over the years.
What was striking is that relatively few boys took part in the competition. We will discuss with the schools how we can motivate more boys to join the debate.