iMlango Junior Debaters Contest: Competition one, Round 1 & 2 Review

After receiving submissions from 452 teams in round 1, the Arimus Media team - partners of the iMlango Junior Debaters Contest and curators of the popular ‘The Great Debaters Contest’ - marked the submissions and selected the top 100 to progress to round 2.

Teacher and pupil feedback from round 1 was overwhelmingly positive. Teachers cited several benefits for pupils, such as improving their capacity to work in a team, learning how to structure coherent arguments, and encouraging independent research.

Pupils also voiced their enjoyment in taking part in the contest, where they emphasised that the contest helped them to learn how to explore different subjects outside of the curriculum and to develop their English language skills. This, in part, is due to the teams knowing that their argument (submission) had to be well presented if they are to be successful and proceed to the next round.

Team Lions, from Kwaupanga Primary in Kilifi, were one of the groups that successfully qualified for round 2 of the contest, with a score of 70 per cent. One of the group’s members, Baraka, attributed good time management and teamwork to their success. With five members expressing conflicting views on the debate motion, the team recognised the need to work through their differences and arrive at a position that everyone was content with.

Their ICT teacher, Ms Etori, was encouraged by Team Lions’ use of an internet search engine to find out information on the benefits of technology in education, and the pupils themselves soon realised the power of internet-based enquiry in researching certain topics.

Ms Etori believes that by just participating in the contest, pupils are exposed to – and develop - valuable life skills, such as independent, inquisitive research.

For the 2nd round of the competition, teams were set the debate motion: ‘Do you agree/disagree with the following statement? With the help of technology students nowadays can access more information and learn it quickly. Use specific reasons/examples to support your answer.’

We received some excellent submissions from 67 teams for this round, which again was marked by the Arimus Media team, who used their many years of experience in running debating contests to select the top submissions. The standout submission from round 2 was from Team Zion, from Kasidi Primary school in Kilifi, who agreed with the motion, and provided the following reason to support their answer: ‘Technology provides practically all that a student may need in order to expand their scope of learning. It is a dependable resource which cater for students in all spheres of learning. If teachers obtain most of their knowledge from technologically established sources, then a student will surely benefit more.’

There were many excellent submissions, and it was extremely difficult to choose, but only 10 teams were able to be selected to progress to the 3rd and final round of competition one.

For the 3rd and final round of the competition, the 10 remaining teams were set the debate motion: ‘Some people think girls drop out of school more than boys. Do you agree or disagree? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.’ We’re very excited to see the top 10 teams’ responses over the coming weeks, and will be showcasing some of the best responses and the overall winners in next month’s update.

We also launched round 1 of competition 2 this month, which is open to an unlimited number of groups. The debate motion that has been set for the 1st round of competition 2 is:‘Sickness is the biggest factor which makes pupils absent from school. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer.’

We’re expecting a strong set of responses from our students in the 2nd iMlango Junior Debaters Competition, and believe that the continuation of the contest will further encourage our young people to participate in literacy challenges and, ultimately, help them to develop their debating, digital, and other transferrable skills.

Until next time,
The iMlango team