‘Debates help pupils to focus attention on academics than social activities’


… National Coordinator of Sierra Leone Debating Council

November 24, 2015 By Ibrahim Tarawallie

National Coordinator of the Sierra Leone Debating Council has stated that debates help pupils focus more attention on their academic work than social activities.

Mohamed Kanneh was speaking at the conclusion of a three day training organised by the National Youth Commission (NAYCOM) and the Open Society Initiative for West Africa (OSIWA) at the St. Edward’s Pre-school Hall, Kingtom, in Freetown.

The training helped trained thirty secondary school pupils from various schools in the Northern Province and Western Area, including Schlenker Secondary School, Catholic Secondary School, both in Port Loko; St. Edward’s Secondary School, Bishop Johnson Secondary School, Prince of Wales Secondary School, Albert Academy and St. Joseph’s Convent, all in the Western Area.

According to Mr. Kanneh, the training was geared towards building skills and creativity to enable participants partake in the upcoming districts debating competition.

He noted that the practice of debate had lagged behind in the recent past because many schools rather have social clubs which have transformed into gang groups which terrorise society.

“Debate will also help the young people to articulate their issues without fear and contribute to national development. But let me caution that debates should not be limited to secondary schools, but tertiary institutions as well as; this will control anti-social behavior among students,” he said.

A pupil from Schlenker Secondary School in Port Loko, Mydam Conteh, described the training as very educative as they have learned new debating skills which would empower them to compete even at international level.

She expressed appreciation to the National Youth Commission and OSIWA for creating the platform for them, and hoped it would be cascaded to other parts of the country.

“The training was very educative in that we were able to learn new skills. We will put into practice what we have learnt. We are also grateful to the National Youth Commission and OSIWA for the support,” She said.

The Districts Debate Competition will kick off this week starting in Moyamba, Kenema, Port Loko, Western Area Rural and Western Area Urban.