The President Vision Africa International, Bishop, Dr Sunday Ndukwo Onuoha, has stated that the Vision Africa Radio Schools Debate has been organised over the years with the primary aim of helping students develop critical thinking skills and sharpen their English language proficiency.
Bishop, Dr Onuoha who spoke during the occasion of the Vision Africa Schools debate competition and prize/award presentation held at the Vision Africa premises, Umuahia on Monday, also hinted that the Vision Africa Outreach Unit has progressively developed many programmes to help the girl child.
In his words, Bishop Dr, Onuoha said, “First is our Protect The Children Campaign – An Anti-sexual Abuse and Child Trafficking Programme aimed at educating school children on their rights to be protected against sexual predators. Vision Africa is presently visiting schools and creating awareness on this topic. Another is our Schools Mentors Programme – An initiative developed to help raise and nurture children and direct their focus aright so that the paths of leaders of tomorrow can be charted correctly”.
The Methodist Bishop added that beyond its entertainment value and logical argument,, “it is our hope that the students who participated in the Abia State School debate have acquired or moulded their public speaking skills, improved their note-taking skills, increased their self-confidence, enhanced their teamwork/collaboration skills, and developed better ways to explicitly state their points of view with gentleness, even when standing up for the truth”.
Continuing, “This is Vision Africa’s 22ndyear in existence and in 2019 we hosted the 10th edition of Vision Africa Radio Schools Debate Competition.
The Global Peace Award Winner, 2013, pointed out that Vision Africa Radio in collaboration with the Abia State Ministry of Education, engaged students for about three (3) months on the following debate topics: IS THE NIGERIAN JUDICIARY INDEPENDENT IN THE HANDLING OF ELECTORAL PETITION MATTERS; GAMBLING PLATFORMS HAVE DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD TO OUR COUNTRY; and YOUTH OF THE PRESENT TIME ARE MORE INTERESTED IN GETTING QUICK RICHES THROUGH FRAUDULENT MEANS THAN FOCUSING ON THEIR ACADEMIC WORK.
He said various schools competed in a race which became tighter through the ‘League’ process from the Local Government Areas; and then fixtures at the State level, from which 3 finalists emerged, competing for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd positions”.
The Co-chair Interfaith Dialogue Forum for Peace, reminded the students that the event is not just about going home with a prize, but allowing the process mould and give them a better perspective of issues, pointing out that debating is a lot of fun, as it helps structure thoughts and clearly express oneself in a way that is clear to those around, using arguments that are persuasive and devoid of circumlocution.
He used the medium to appreciate the sponsors of the programme, noting that the Vision Africa Schools Debate would not have recorded such success without selfless support from her esteemed sponsors who donated prizes that schools were presented with just as he thanked those that provided funds for refreshment for judges and schools within the duration of the competition.
Bishop, Dr Onuoha appreciated the Proprietors/Proprietresses of schools as well as School Administrators and Managers for giving students the opportunity to participate and acquire skills and called on them not to let their hands be weary, “as they collectively build a bloc of future leaders who have been nurtured over time by their own hands and persistent tutulage.
On her part, a representative of the Commissioner for Education, Mrs Mbanaso Ngozi called on schools in the state to show interest in subsequent competitions, adding that schools were selected to participate just as she commended Bishop Onuoha for the event.
Earlier in his opening remarks, the chairman of the occasion, Chief Paul Apugo enjoined the State Ministry of Education to improve the capacity in the provision of high quality basic education in Abia State, as a regulatory agency for promotion of uniform, qualitative and functional basic education.
Correspondent reports that St. Theresa Girls Seminary Umuahia South L.G.A, took the first position, followed by Girls High School Ovim, Isuikwuato L.G.A and Marvelous Christian academy Umuahia, who came second and third respectively.