“I like debating because it needs critical analysis which can help unearth solutions to issues in the society,” commented Ben, a debater from Gulu Army School. He said that debating has helped him overcome stage fright and improved his spoken English, a problem he has been fighting since childhood.
You could see how engaged the students were in the debate organized by the Legacy Scholarship Program. The room was full to capacity, with many students peering through the window bars from outside to get a glimpse of the action. The main hall at Sir Samuel Baker School was as silent as a grave, while all eyes focused on the debaters trying to convince the judges of their case on the topic, “true democracy is impracticable in our contemporary society.”
In the battle of the brains, Gulu Army Secondary School defended the motion while Sir Samuel Baker School opposed it. An energetic and confident presentation was displayed by all participants in this quarter-final round of the debate competition.
Gulu Army emerged the winners with 586 points while Sir Samuel Baker came second 556 points. Although disappointed, the students of Sir Samuel Baker were good sports about their loss.
Komakech Oginga, the head judge, acknowledged the effort both schools made to come up with well-researched arguments and examples from day-to-day lives. He explained to the students how using examples gives arguments more weight.
Oginga said that he has seen how debate allows students to, “gain knowledge for unique disciplines that are not incorporated in their normal academics.”
No matter what their future, participating in debating will equip students with the valuable skills of research, critical thinking and public speaking that will help them in their chosen career.
The Legacy Scholarship Program provides scholarships to vulnerable students in northern Uganda. Currently, the program supports 700 secondary students and 250 university students.