ESA Nyarugunga, a Secondary School based in Kicukiro District, over the weekend, won the inter schools debating competition held at the Bible Centre in Kacyiru Sector, Kigali City.
The school triumphed over eight secondary schools in a competition organised by Youth Association for Human Rights Promotion and Development (AJPRODHO).
"This did not come as a surprise, we worked real hard, practiced and did research on the topics but still I must say, it was a tough competition; all our competitors were well prepared," recounted Maureen Mutesi, a student at Esa Nyarugunga.
Nine schools gathered at AJPRODHO headquarters to debate on two topics; lowering age for marriage from 21 to 18 years and Education for all.
Officiating at the event, John Mudakikwa, the Executive Secretary of AJPRODHO, said that the driving factor behind the initiative is to equip youth in secondary school from both urban and rural areas alike, with skills to debate and consequently enable them to engage different stakeholders on policy issues.
He hailed the organisers of the competition for such an educative initiative.
Gladys Keza, a Senior Six student from Groupe Scolaire Gahini, said that the debate increased her sense of self worth, self expression and tolerance to other people’s opinions.
All students who participated were awarded with certificates.
Joseph Lyada a debate trainer said that; “The art of debate is a powerful tool for individual empowerment, debate also promotes the culture of reading and making research.”
AJPRODHO was founded in 1996 by Students at the National University of Rwanda. It has been organising school debating competitions since 2007.