A non-governmental organisation, Lola Cater for the Needy Foundation, has observed that holding debate competitions among schools is fundamental to boosting the quality of education in the country.
Ms Ololade Ogunnubi, the founder of the foundation, said on Monday in Abuja during a news conference that her foundation had leveraged the importance of debate competitions and had organised such in 20 states.
She said that the competition was part of the foundation’s activities to mark the 2022 International Day for Quality Education, usually celebrated on every Jan. 24.
Ogunnubi noted that in line with the falling educational standard in Nigeria, there was great need to engage every measures available for consistent upward improvement.
She added that the debate competition was not only meant to educate the students, but also to boost their confidence and zeal in search of more knowledge.
“In the last three years, our foundation has reached out to more than 15,000 students in 18 states in Nigeria and 750 community children through our community school campaign.
“This year, the theme of the celebration is Changing Course, Transforming Education: To recover and revitalise education for the COVID-19 generation.
“We organised intra-school debate competitions between five male students and five female students in the schools visited on how the theme for the year is important for a boy-child and a girl-child.
“The states visited include Adamawa, Anambra, Benue, Cross River, Delta, Edo, FCT, Gombe State, Plateau, Kaduna State, Kano State, Kwara, Lagos State, Nasarawa State, Niger, Ogun, Osun, Oyo State, Rivers and Sokoto State.
“At the end of the competition, awards, certificates as well as educational materials were given to the students,” she said.
Ogunnubi added the debate competitions also exposed the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on educational standards of those in rural communities.
She noted that unlike their counterparts in the urban areas who have access to electronic gadgets of learning, those in the rural communities were left behind.
She, however, called on all education stakeholders to always promote quality education for all irrespective of their social status by ensuring that the Sustainable Development Goal 4 was achieved.