The Lagos State Government has awarded over N10 million cash prizes to winners in the grand finale of the State's Schools Debate Season IX.
The winning teams of each category in primary, junior and senior secondary schools were also given additional N50, 000 from Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Deputy Governor, Idiat Oluranti Adebule who announced the special prize said the gift was the governor's way of rewarding the pupils for their hard work.
The winners in the three categories won N1m each, while the first and second runners up got N750, 000 and N500, 000 respectively.
All schools that ended up in the fourth positions got N250, 000 each.
The star prize of the primary category went to Ayetoro Primary School while the second and third prizes were won by Odo-Abore Primary School, Mushin and Onilikere Primary School, Ikeja respectively.
In her address, the deputy governor said the competition was a structured plan to produce socially stable and self -reliant students who can easily integrate into the larger society.
She stated that the competition has aided the public speaking and confidence building of competing students on yearly basis.
"Their use of English has developed tremendously, topics are well researched into and the ease with which salient points are marshaled makes the quality of argument and presentation of points very impressive, convincing and highly interesting."
She advised children in the state public and private schools to devote more time to their studies; shun vices including internet fraud, hooliganism, rape, examination malpractice, alcoholism, and drug abuse among others."
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mrs. Adebunmi Adekanye revealed that 3,015 schools comprising 1,688 public and 1,329 private schools registered to be part of this year's competition as against 631 that participated last year.
She noted that the zonal preliminaries for government primary, junior and senior schools took place at the 20 education zones while those of the private schools were conducted by their associations to ensure that best hands were fielded.
The preliminaries produced the "Group of 60" made up of 30 public and private schools, 10 each in the three categories.
Adekanye disclosed that all the participating students were taken through a grooming session where they were taught how to handle their topics of debate like marshaling their salient points, their appearance, use of language, delivery projections and composure amongst others.