Dansol College has emerged winner among six other secondary schools after a school debate organised by the Nigeria-Britain Association (N-BA) in honour of Pa Akintola Williams, the patron of the association.
The Fan Milk Plc-sponsored competition, which was held at the British Council, in partnership with SCIB Nigeria and NEM Insurance Plc, saw students of Corona Schools, Vivian Fowler Memorial School, Supreme Education Foundation School, Avi-Cenna International School, Dansol College, Meadow Hall Education and Edgewood College, trying to outdo one another in a Westminster-style debate.
The Westminster-style debate, otherwise known as British Parliamentary style, is a form of academic debate where each member of the two debating sides is allowed five to seven minutes speech and the opposition team is allowed to interrupt the speaker in what is known as points of information.
The debates, which had preliminary four rounds and a final round that produced the winner, featured topics such as ‘Human capital is a more worthwhile government investment than artificial intelligence,’ ‘The Nigerian economy would benefit more from a wider tax net than increasing exports,’ ‘Parents should be held more accountable than school administrators for bullying,’ and ‘Compulsory vaccination is a recipe for global safety.’
Oluwatomisin Coker of Dansol College was named overall best speaker in the competition.
Immediate past president of N-BA, Mr Shola Tinubu, while welcoming the participating students, set the tone for the occasion. He noted that Chief Williams, in whose honour the school debate is named, is very passionate about the event.
President of the N-BA, Abimbola Okoya, who addressed the gathering remotely, spoke about the objectives and strategy of the N-BA and commended efforts of the debaters.
Okoya said: “We have a passion for education and empowerment of next generation of leaders. This event is in honour of our patron, to celebrate his 102nd birthday, which he marked last year. This is very important for us at the N-BA because the empowerment of the next generation is one of our core values and also a key element of the Big I.D.E.A, which encapsulates inclusivity, diversity, empowerment of youths, women and the vulnerable, as well as agility.
While appreciating the invitation extended to the Lagos State Ministry of Education, Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Abayomi Abolaji, said the initiative aligns with the various developmental projects embarked upon by the governor Babajide Sanwo Olu in the educational sector.
“In Lagos State, we take pride in education. An event like this is well appreciated by the state as it is one of the many ways of showcasing the progress made in the education of our youths. Lagos State hosted the first national presidential debate, which had 13 states in attendance. The state government has commissioned 1,449 projects across the state and boasts of several interventions, including infrastructure, curriculum development, and teachers training,” he remarked.
Abolaji, who represented the governor, urged the organisers to extend the competition to public schools in the future.
Present at the occasion were the Patron of the N-BA, Chief Akintola Williams; Vice Patron, N-BA, Chief Olabintan Famutimi; representative of the Governor of Lagos State and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr Abayomi Abolaji; representative of the Lagos State Deputy Governor and Director of Special Duties, Mr Adeyemi Adebayo; and Director of Co-curricular Services, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs Sosanya Olubunm.