Kenyan Schools Shine In Africa Debate Competition
At least 50 Amani Club secondary school students are expected to represent the country in a Pan African debate championship in South Africa from December 12 to 18.
This comes after the students won an East African debate competition in neighboring Tanzania, where ten selected schools competed.
St. Thomas of Kilifi County won the competition, followed by the Sigalame boys of Busia County and the Ribe boys of Kilifi County.
The Amani Clubs Kenya represented the country in various categories including debate, public speaking, and essay writing at the inaugural Mwalimu Nyerere Schools invitational debate championship tournament of East Africa in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania.
The students had the opportunity to work on topics such as peace, East African integration, and regional cohesion in order to improve their cognitive skills and integrate co-curricular activities with their traditional studies.
Kennedy Kunani, the National organizing secretary of Amani clubs Kenya, said after returning to the country that the clubs chose the representative students and teams from the lot that won the National debating championship that the club organizes countrywide.
“We usually host debating championships across the country and it is through that competition where we select the students and teams that represent the country in regional competitions,” he said.
Ribe Boys, Musoli Girls, St. Thomas Girls, Mukumu Boys, Marereni Secondary, and Sigalame Boys all competed and won awards in this year’s competition, according to Kunani.
The National Cohesion and Integration Commission (NCIC) established the Amani Club in 2016 in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MoE) to promote peaceful coexistence in educational institutions.
The club has been involved in a variety of activities, including debates, environmental management, and essay writing, all with the goal of encouraging coexistence in schools.
Kunani stated that the Amani club will ensure that students and teachers work together to resolve issues in order to avoid chaos.
“Many schools reported indiscipline related concerns and the management of Amani club will ensure that students and teachers address their differences amicably to avoid additional disruption,” he added.
Patricia Madegwa, a Musoli girls student, expressed her excitement about participating in the debate competition.
Madegwa stated that the completion was not easy, but it provided them with exposure and experiences on what other students studying outside of the country are learning.
“We had an amazing tour and as Kenyan students we have learned that our neighbors Tanzania are giving prestige to their former leaders like Mwalimu Nyerere and value their cultural heritage a great deal,” she said.
Pascal Okai, for one, was amused by how the students were fluent in English while giving Kenyans a hard time, despite the obvious notion that they are fluent in Kiswahili.
Okai stated that they worked on the project with international schools from Dar es Salaam.