Oke-Odo school wins Nigeria-Britain Association’s Akintola Williams youth debate
Oke-Odo Senior High School has emerged victorious among 11 other secondary schools in a school debate organised by the Nigeria-Britain Association (N-BA) in honour of Pa Akintola Williams, the Patron of the Association. The school’s lead debater, Abiodun Adedokun, was named as the overall best speaker in the debate.
Sponsored by Scib Nigeria Ltd, Deloitte Nigeria, NEM Insurance and the British Council, the competition saw students of Corona Schools; Vivian Fowler Memorial School; Ogunmodede Senior College; King Ado Senior High School; Supreme Education Foundation School; Avi-Cenna International School; Lagos State Model Senior College, Kankon; Alimosho Senior Grammar School; The Childville; Oke-Odo Senior High School; Ikeja Senior High School and last year’s winner, Dansol High School, try to outdo one another in a parliamentary-style debate.
The debates, which had four of the schools qualify for the final round from a preliminary round, featured topics such as ‘School Grades are more important than school safety,’ ‘It is better to Invest in infrastructure than academic remuneration,’ ‘Nigeria needs a five thousand naira note,’ ‘Most African countries are still operating a one-party state,’ ‘Online safety should be a time-tabled subject in the 21st Century,’ ‘Only the Federal or State government should be permitted to run a lottery,’ and ‘Nigeria is ready to go cashless.’
The winning school debate team got laptops for their efforts, while their counterparts were rewarded with Galaxy iPads and Samsung phones for the second and third positions respectively, including other individual prizes presented to the debaters.
In an opening remark, the head of organizing committee of the debate and immediate past President of the N-BA, Mr. Shola Tinubu, ably represented by Ms Olamipo Adeola, while setting the tone for the occasion, expressed appreciation to the N-BA patron and doyen of accounting in Nigeria, Chief Williams and welcomed the participating students and other guests. He noted that Chief Williams is very passionate about the event.
“Over the years, we have had the opportunity to listen to quality debate from the students and have been enthralled by the depth of their knowledge and weight of their arguments,” he added.
The President of the N-BA, Abimbola Okoya, who addressed attendants remotely during the competition, spoke about the objectives and strategy of the N-BA and commended the debaters for the brilliance and enthusiasm displayed during the competition.
“The Akintola Williams Youth Debate is a flagship event of the N-BA. It helps to empower future generation of leaders in Nigeria. This year’s event has been really special because we have both public and private schools participating. It has been an absolutely phenomenal event,” she said.
While also appreciating Chief Williams for hosting the event in his residence and the British Council for its partnership, Okoya urged that the N-BA to continue to emulate the present template for the competition.
In a statement issued by the N-BA after the event it noted that the participation of six public schools out of the 12 invited schools, with two of them earning spots in the top three positions, made this year’s edition of the debate competition a unique one, adding that it bears testament to the improved quality of education in the nation’s public school educational system.
“We look forward to your continued partnership as we continue to create a timeless legacy of inclusivity, diversity, empowerment, and agility through our events and initiatives for the overall benefit of our members, communities and partners,” the statement further noted.
The objectives of the debate competition include investing in education, driving excellence among schools and students, in addition to promoting cultural engagement among Nigerian and British schools and students.
Present at the occasion were Chief Akintola Williams; deputy directors, Lagos State Ministry of Education, Mrs. Funmi Akinfolurin and Mrs. Ronke Matuluko; representatives of prominent corporations; and executives, members and friends of the N-BA.