Namibia: Oshana Retains Debating Championship Crown

THE Oshana region was crowned champions of the fourth The Namibian Critical Thinking Competition for the second consecutive year.

The three-day event which kicked off on Friday, organised and spearheaded by the Namibian Schools Debating Association (NSDA) and sponsored by The Namibian newspaper to the tune of N$75 000, was held at Keetmanshoop and ended yesterday.

Oshana defeated Kavango East after proposing a motion 'Politicians should not have privacy or a private life'.

They reasoned that politicians' privacy should be limited, suggesting that their financial status should be open to public scrutiny, and that those holding political office should be appointed on their qualifications' merits.

This, they opined, would reduce corruption by politicians in the country.

The Kavango East team, on their part, argued that politicians have a right to privacy as guaranteed by the Namibian Constitution, and thus should not be denied that on the grounds of being a political office-bearer.

If denied privacy, they debated, politicians as well as their families' security will be put at risk. The regions which participated include Omusati, Oshana, //Kharas, Hardap, Kunene, Kavango East, Kavango West, Otjozondjupa, Omaheke, Ohangwena, Zambezi and Oshikoto. The Khomas and Erongo region did not participate this year.

Topics debated were skyrocketing house prices, inequalities versus the country's current economic crisis, and opposing or supporting SMSes in The Namibian newspaper.

Oshana team leader, Sesilie Haikali said teamwork was their recipe for having been crowned winners for the second consecutive year. She thus encouraged fellow pupils to participate in debating, saying it would empower them to look at issues in society from different perspectives.

"Debating develops a critical mindset, and empowers you to analyse different issues," she added. Kavango East team leader, Eddy Ngonga, said they are happy the best team won.

The //Kharas Kalahari Circuit's inspector Constance Wantenaar in her closing comments commended The Namibian newspaper for sponsoring the debating event since its inception four years back.

"The seed you are planting through investing in the staging of the Critical Thinking Competition will definitely germinate and promote the ideal of peaceful co-existence, tolerance, settling of differences of opinion in a mature manner without resorting to violence, and understanding the differences between fact and opinion," she stated.

NSDA president Elizabeth Namundjebo said the aim of the competition is to create a spirit of critical thinking and the analysing of issues affecting society.

"The event has helped the Namibian child in many ways. About 60% to 70% of the NSDA graduates have become lawyers," she added.

She said the education ministry has also contributed N$100 000 towards the meals of the pupils and officials during the four-day debating championship.

The winner of the championship pocketed N$7 000, while Kavango East, the second runners-up got N$5 000, and the third runners-up, the Omusati region, walked away with N$3 000.

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