In a bid to instill public speaking skills among children at an early age, a local NGO last week organised a debate competition that brought together primary school pupils from the City of Kigali.
The debate, organised by Fight Illiteracy Youth Organisation (Fiyo), took place at Groupe Scolaire Kicukiro.
It attracted eight primary schools, each represented by a speaker in Kinyarwanda, and another for English.
Competitors from each district had had their own topic, which included the importance of public speaking, social security and the role of children in the conservation of the environment.
“The aim is to try to shape our children at a young age, by teaching them tactics on public speaking. The competition also helps boost proficiency of the children in different languages,” said Moses Gahigi, the executive director of Fiyo.
Paul Mporanyicyubahiro, a primary five pupil from St Joseph Primary School in Kicukiro, emerged the winner of the English category, scoring 88 per cent, while Angel Iradukunda from the host school, GS Kicukiro, won in the Kinyarwanda section, scoring 85 per cent.
The best four winners were give certificates, text books and scholastic materials while other participants were rewarded with an assortment of books.
The Kinyarwanda factor
Member of Parliament Theobald Mporanyi, who was the chief guest, appreciated the initiative and encouraged the organisation to role it out in other parts of the country.
“Public speaking is not easy at all; it has little to do with intellectual capacity. It is about confidence to speak and there is a challenge. It is only good public speakers that make good leaders,” said Mporanyi, urging the children to always make use of such opportunities.
He equally extolled the consideration of Kinyarwanda as one of the languages in which the competition was organised, saying that this is the language widely used in the country.
“We are Banyarwanda, and this is the language we use most to communicate. We can excel in speaking foreign languages but we will always remain Rwandans,” he said.
Mporanyicyubahiro, the winner in the English category said that it was a great opportunity for him, saying that before the competition, he did not know he could stand in front of an audience and speak.