MORE than 200 secondary school students from the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) member states commenced the second Mwalimu Nyerere Schools Invitational Debate Championships (MNIV) competition in Dar es Salaam.
The three-day debate competition which involves sixteen schools from SADC member states has been organised by the Al Muntazir schools in Tanzania, with the aim of commemorating the legacy of the father of nation, the late Mwalimu Julius Nyerere and to measure the ability of Tanzanian schools in the growing intellectual sports of debate and public speaking.
Chief Executive Officer of Al Muntazir Islamic Secondary School, Mr Mahmood Ladak, said he looked at the competition as a great platform for students to cultivate their potential. The event will be held from 11th to 13th this month and Zimbabwe will compete to clinch the title of champion.
“As a school, we look far beyond the classroom when we consider student develop ment. Debating and speaking publicly improves one’s confidence and ability to explain various issues. We are happy to be hosting this event in partnership with TCRO and we look forward to hosting many more in the future,” he said.
The Coordinator for the event, Fanuel Joseph said that this year, students will debate a wide range of interesting topics on issues such as South Sudan’s admission into the East African Community, bank secrecy laws as they pertain to African leaders and many more.
“The government is now targeting industrialisation of the country so we need to prepare the quality human resources since they are at school level in order to become competent internationally and good decision makers by being confident speakers,” he said.
Added, “Students have been preparing for this for almost two months now. We expect Tanzanian students, that we have trained, to make good of the skills imparted on them during our training marathon.
Teams from Zimbabwe are obviously more experienced, but we are confident that local schools will put up a fight”. The chief judges for the competition are Oliver Dickson from South Africa and Samuel Muleya from Zimbabwe.
Last year, the competition was won by Feza International School against the formidable St Lawrence College Parais Pallais of Uganda in what was an intense final debate on whether public courts of justice are more effective than conventional closed courts.