By Tare Youdeowei
For the reward of one academic session scholarship and the winning school getting funds for a project, Jibowu Junior High School has come first with 23.8 points out of eight schools which vied for the position, at the recently concluded Concept Nova Debate Competition.
Concept Nova, one of Nigeria’s fastest growing information technology service and software development companies, had junior high schools; Eletu Odibo, Akoka, Aje Comprehensive, Mobolaji Bank Anthony, Onike Girls, Wesley, Jibowu, Herbert Macaulay, pitted for and against the topic, Technology: Reducing the Quality of Human Interaction, where they showcased their prowess and mastery of English language at ECWA hall, Yaba, Lagos.
Speaking on the essence of the debate and the focus on junior secondary school students, Executive Director, Concept Nova, Mr. Chukwuma Ochonogor revealed; “Our organisation has a strong societal outlook, it means that not only do we look to the success of our organisation, we recognise that the success of our society as well, is of paramount importance.
The most pertinent aspect is the education of our young ones because they are the future leaders, they are the ones that will propel us in the future and take care of us when we grow old, they need to be properly groomed and educated.
“We chose junior secondary because it is the formative years when they are going from being children to forming an opinion as to what their life would be. As was revealed from the quality of interaction submitted in the debate, these are young adults that have a good appreciation of society and now is the best time to impact them.”
Expressing delight the teacher of the winning school, Jibowu Junior High School, Arise Morenike said; “I am very happy we won. I am particularly happy because they are JSS 1 students and they were able to do this. I trusted them and I am so happy. and proud that I trained them and they won. It is the joy of every teacher that when you go for competition, your children, no matter their age, win.
“We got the topic early last month. I started training the JSS 2 but they were not turning up, so last week, Thursday, I took these JSS1 students and told them that I trust their abilities and I have faith them. This is their first experience in debate competitions. It took them just three days and here we are today. “
The winners, Onwuchekwa Nnena and Ujong Precious Etim, who also deftly handled the surprise topic; Mobile Devices should be Banned in Schools, expressed excitement thus; “We feel excited and happy, it was unexpected. We were thinking they will defeat us but our teacher motivated us, we put more effort and we won. We started preparation just last week Thursday.
In preparing, I used the Internet, our teacher gave us a clue of what to do and we formed our points. After school, upon getting home I would just read it, summarise it; I made it a part of me, I didn’t cram it. We basically just knew it, mastered it.