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Season 3, Round 2: The results are in!

The iMlango Junior Debater’s Contest is the iMlango schools’ spin-off of the acclaimed Great Debaters Contest and is run in partnership with the Kenyan television show’s producers, Arimus Media. The contest aims to help improve literacy, communication and research skills, general knowledge, as well as teamwork and pupil self-esteem.

Season 3 of the contest has kicked off with vigour, and the first two rounds have now taken place.

In Round 1, 724 groups (each of 5 children, all from Standard 7) responded. This was the greatest number of respondents ever in a Round 1 (452 in Season 1, and 515 in Season 2), with the top 100 groups progressing to Round 2.

The motion that the students were challenged to debate was: “Education is key to success. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer”.

In joint first place were Pigeon group, from Kwaupanga Primary School, and Goat group from Bamba primary school, both from Kilifi County, and both with a phenomenal score of 82%.

Pigeon group asserted that education ‘absolutely is’ the key to success, enabling a ‘high salary and an enjoyable career’, allowing you to fulfil your dreams and goals. They argued that enhancing your knowledge can make you independent and confident in the 21st century: ‘Your mind is the key that can open any door for you’.

They concluded that Governments invest time and money in education, as they understand its positive impact on their country.

Goat group concurred, stating that education is the way to obtain desirable employment and to experience upward mobility, happiness and prosperity, for example buying a Ferrari!

They added that education helps social development: ‘An educated person is well aware of his/her responsibilities towards society’, and ‘Education contributes in social harmony and peace’ and is thus ‘the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world’.

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In Round 2, the motion was: “The cutting down of trees is damaging to the environment. Do you agree or disagree with this statement? Use specific reasons and details to support your answer”.

In this round, a total of 68 groups responded, making it our best Round 2 so far. In first place was Bata group from Mwangutwa Primary School (also from Kilifi County) with a fantastic score of 70%, and in second place, making an appearance again, was Goat group from Bamba Primary School, with 68%.

Bata agreed with the statement. They examined the benefits of trees, such as maintaining the ecological balance and helping to reduce global warming, and the harm caused by cutting them down: ‘If we continue to cut trees at a larger extent then it will … create an unstable atmosphere which will lead to destruction of the earth’.

They concluded that ‘we as citizens of our country should plant trees and encourage young people … to understand the need for planting trees to save the future generation’.

Goat group agreed with the motion, on the basis that ‘from trees we get life-giving air (oxygen)’ and that trees and forests meet many of our needs. They postulated that ‘The existence of forests today is in danger. Consequently, human life is also in danger.’

They discussed floods and droughts, global warming, depletion of water resources and the extinction of species, concluding with the call to arms: ‘Let’s save trees – cut 1, plant 2’.

All the children impressed with their compelling and well thought out arguments. The top 15 groups in Round 2 have progressed to Round 3: congratulations and good luck to all competing debaters! We will keep you updated as the contest progresses…

Until next time,

The iMlango Team