Nigeria – Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State has charged secondary school students to imbibe healthy competition in their academic endeavors in order to succeed in life and take active part in repositioning Oyo State and the country.
He stated that quality debate is the staple of democracy in the modern world, stressing that without quality debate, electorates would never be able to engage politicians with whom the collective destiny of the people are entrusted for a period of time.
The Governor who spoke through the State Commissioner for Education, Science and Technology, Barrister Olasunkanmi Olaleye, while addressing secondary school students participants at the Opening Ceremony of the 2021 Inter- Senior Secondary School debate Competition of the South-West zone, held at Ibadan Business School, Bodija, Ibadan.
The Governor noted that as a responsible Government, the paramount concern to his administration has been of turning around the dwindling educational sector which he inherited from the last administration.
He added that within two years, several measures and reforms have been put in place, part of which are free, accessible, and quality education for all, with free text and notebooks for students in public schools to promote sound education, which have placed Oyo State on good ranking in terms of performance and delivery.
“In addition to the annual State quiz, debate and Spelling Bee competitions, the Government is also promoting the participation of Oyo students in national competitions with the intention of sponsoring deserving students for international competitions, to boost their talents, skills and as well, inculcate qualities of sportsmanship, teamwork and cooperation among the students who are the leaders of tomorrow.
“Debating is one of the best tools available to a student for development of his or her oratory skills as well as the confidence to express themselves effectively, so it should be promoted by the Government, private organizations and individuals, so that we can put our education quality where we desire.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the National Coordinator, President’s Schools’ Debate Nigeria, Elder Dare Oritu opined that the importance of debate to the country and the world cannot be overemphasized, adding that debate has been widely used across the world as a tool for dialogue between conflicting interests.
He maintained that the significant role of debating in democratic nations includes the resolution of conflicts among diverse groups, which has made some levels of impact in Nigeria, despite her numerous challenges.
He however expressed hope that the competition would achieve the desired success, while admonishing the Judges to discharge their duties without fear or favor, urging them to encourage debaters to play according to the laid down rules and regulations
Also in attendance at the occasion were the Permanent Secretary to the Ministry, Alhaja Aminat Atere and other Top Government officials at the Ministry.