Youth Group Kickoff Final Phase of High School Debate Competition


Monrovia – Over six schools are expected to partake in the upcoming final level of the Inter-high school debate competition in Monrovia.

Report by Bettie K. Johnson-Mbayo, [email protected]

The debate is organized by a local group under the banner Youth for Change (Y4C) in collaboration with communication firm, Orange.

At a one-day forum in Monrovia, the executive director of Y4C, Alex Devine recalled the struggle to bring the competition at its current level, adding that the initiative is geared toward preventing students from attending beach parties on Fridays.

“We all know what super Friday is – when students will leave school and gather on beaches to smoke, drink and sometimes they get abused and drown (in the ocean),” Devine said.

“So we decided to craft a policy to put an end to Liberian children attending super Friday.”

He said the debate is expected to be decentralized across the 15 counties by targeting smart kids in rural areas.

Y4C said reducing attendants on super Friday remains the primary goal of the organization.

In 2017, 80 schools participated; while 64 schools participated in 2016 and there were 68 from six counties participating this year.

The eight schools participating in the final for the trophy are from Nimba, Margibi, Grand Bassa, Bomi, Bong and Montserrado Counties.

Noel Chateau, Orange Chief Marketing Officer, reconfirmed his company’s support to the program.

“Orange has several pillars and this fall under the education pillar; this is a great opportunity and tournament because education and knowledge are power,” Chateau said.

But Atty. Meo Beyan, a Judge of the 2017 debate, urged Orange to provide internet service to enable students to do research and avoid plagiarism.

Madam Lovetta Sendolo and UNESCO representative Sam Heir expressed disappointments due to the absence of parents, faculty and government officials at the launch.

She said such initiative should attract the attention of national leaders to provide support the program.

Meanwhile, Othello Nimely, Assistant Education Minister for student personnel services, said the academic competition is helping to deliver quality education to produce quality students.

“We are poised to support such initiative for it helps to develop the full capacity of students, in that it gives them the impetus to become affluent in speech and effective communicators,” Nimely said.