From Everest Ezihe, Owerri
Worried by the decadence in the nation’s educational system, Dr. Mrs. Pearl Onukwugha has advised Imo State Government (IMSG) as a matter of exigency to re-introduce school debate as a strategic measure in up lifting the state educational standard.
Onukwugha who is the President of Pearville School, Avu in Owerri West council area of the state made this Clarion call at the school auditorium last Saturday during the well-attended maiden grand finale of senior secondary schools debate among private schools in the state being whole sponsored by her school and with theme: Encouraging Young Minds Towards Quest for Knowledge.
Recalled that the preliminary of the Senior Secondary Schools debate started last March with about 200 debaters from over 70 registered participating schools auditioned and the best 10 debaters emerged from 6 schools, unfortunately, the programme was abruptly cut short due to Covid – 19 pandemic.
According to the Education Administrator ” Am passionately advising the state government through the Ministry to re-introduce debate in the state’s educational system because the advantages outweighs the disadvantages.
It offers the students an ample opportunity to interact, compete and network,which independently brings out the best in them” she revealed.
Onukwugha who said she was driven into allowing her school for the initiative of the yearly sponsorship as part of their social responsibilities of given back to the society, while expressing worries that debating which used to be an integral part of secondary schools curriculum in her hay days is now being eroded.
The education Czar maintained that school’s debate encourages public speaking, lifelong learning, networking and research while appealing to philanthropic individuals, corporate bodies and the state government for their support and encouragement towards sustenance of the yearly programme which costs fortune in terms of money, human and material resources.
She also expressed satisfaction with the level of participation and knowledge driven garnered, noting all the topics debated upon to be germane, critical, relevant and time bound as they relate to contemporary issues which concerns Nigeria as a nation and the global communities.
Earlier, Mrs. Vivian Onwuama, a Director of Education with Imo State Universal Basic Education Board(SUBEB), Owerri commended the school for her immense contributions in the State vision and mission for an improved educational standard.
Owuama recalled that last year, the state came second in the National Schools Debate and regretted the state non-participation in this year event and assured to subsequent choice the state representatives from the products of Pearlville Private Senior Secondary Schools Debate programme.
She assured of delivery the messages of the program to the state Commissioner of Education for inputs while advising teachers in the state on the need for making debate a quarterly affairs in their schools curriculum.
Adding his voice, Arch. Dr. Victor Onukwugha, the chairman of the school that bagged the 2019 National Award as the Best Private School in Nigeria while commending the school management for their initiatives said that the essence of the programme is to enhance improvement in educational standards.
Onukwugha who is the immediate past Rotary International, District 9125 Governor also applauded the participants for performing creditably well and reiterated the need for the state government to revive schools debating societies as a timely measure of improving the State’s educational development initiatives.
On his own part, Sir Romeo Ukaegbu, an educational consultant and a retired principal, further lauded the staff and management of the school for their pivotal roles in educational upliftment in the state and Nigeria at large.
The highlight of the occasion was the announcement of the suspense soaked results by Dr. Mrs. Pearl Onukwugha in which Master Golden Ogechukwu, of St. Silas Secondary School, Isiala Mbano came first with 284 points and was given 100,000 cash and one brand new iPad, the second position was Miss Chelsea Nzeakor of Federal Girl’s College, Owerri she scored 238 points received 50,000= Cash and a brand new ipad while the third position was bagged by Miss Uel Nsofor of Deeper Life High School, Avu with 231 points and she went home with 25,000= cash only.