The ministry of East African Community is conducting debate competitions in secondary schools at a provincial level, to reinforce awareness on EAC integration among secondary students across the country.
Debating clubs were formed in 60 secondary schools in March to participate in competitions at district, provincial and national level. Students and schools that were successful at the district level are competing at the provincial level from August 19 to 29 countrywide. And those that will be successful at the provincial level will finally compete at the national level in September.
The competition was launched with a debate held at GS Mater Dei Nyanza in Southern Province, where GS Notre Dame de Lourdes came to debate on the theme 'Without the integration of Rwanda in the EAC, we cannot achieve the vision 2020.' Debaters from GS Mater Dei were on the position side, whereas GS Notre dame de Lourdes was on the opposition side.
A week and 2 days were offered to each school to prepare the debate and GS Mater Dei came as the winner of this completion.
Ignace Turatsinze, one of the debaters from GS Mater Dei, said that despite the limited time of preparation, their teamwork spirit enabled them to excel.
"This was not easy but as a group we worked well together and focused on the task, and we managed to make use of the available material. We also researched in newspapers, listened to radio frequently and used the EAC website to focus on what the officials have already said about the EAC integration, which has led to our success today."
GS Mater Dei scored 77% against 73% by GS Notre Dame de Lourdes.
"We have become the second but 73% is a good score to prove that we are still able tocompete with other schools," said Sandra Umurerwa one of the debaters from GS Notre Dame de Lourdes. "We will continue to participate in such competitions as we aid our colleagues to grow with us, acquiring debating skills and advance our knowledge."
Pelagie Mumararungu the headmistress of GS Mater Dei, said that while she was proud of her students she had expected nothing less. "Here we train our students to read, write and debate. I thank the supportive teachers who develop different programs that increase the students' competitive spirit and to students who have put their efforts in preparing the debate."