Groupe Scolaire Notre Dame d’Afrique Nyundo, from Western Province, on Tuesday emerged the winner of a national schools debate competition on regional integration.
The debate, organised by the Ministry for East African Affairs, was held under the topic “the EAC Common Market is more beneficial to Rwanda than other regional states.”
The debate, which started in June, saw 60 schools tussle it out from district, to provincial and finally the national level.
The awarding ceremony was presided over by the Minister for EAC Affairs, Jacqueline Muhongayire, who said the initiative aimed at creating awareness of EAC integration, which she said is one of the pillars of the country’s development agenda.
During the final debate at Lemigo Hotel, the eventual winners had to see off Notre Dame de Citeaux of Nyarugenge.
Besides the trophy, GS Notre Dame d’Afrique Nyundo was awarded a cash prize of Rwf800,000, while the second got Rwf600,000.
The cash prize, according to the organisers, will go to the students, their patrons and the debate clubs of the respective schools.
Other awards included laptops for each of the four students on the teams of the best two schools, while for the third school—Groupe Scolaire Notre Dame de la Providence de Karubanda–the four laptops were given to the debate club.
The Minister for Youth and ICT, Jean-Philbert Nsengimana, said the debatestimulates critical thinking and sharpens individual’s communication and presentation skills.
“Debates are very good for practical skills in public speaking,” Nsengimana said.
Sabrina Uwase, one of the debaters from Nyundo, said she was excited by the laptop she received as prize.
“This competition has boosted my confidence. And winning this prize shows that hard work pays. I can only advise fellow students to be bold and take part in such competitions because they are rewarding,” she said.