The General Officer Commanding (GOC), 81 Division Nigerian Army (NA), Maj.-Gen. Obinna Ajunwa, says debate and quiz competitions are well thought out strategies to develop critical thinking in students.
The competition was sponsored by the GOC, who is passionate to see children grow up into critical thinkers and become world-class leaders in different endeavours.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Command Day Secondary School (CDSS) Lagos, (Ipaja), came first; CDSS, Oshodi, came second and CDSS, Ojo came third.
Ajunwa said that the best thing that one could give to a child was education, be it university education or craft, indicating that both educations were complementary.
“So, we must aspire to get both and that is why the education system is changed to 6-3-3-4 to make sure we can acquire both.
“The idea of this event is not to get a winner or loser but to make sure that we improve you in your studies, confidence level and especially in your ability to think critically.
“Critical thinking is one of the first forms in which a system develops and you may be able to critic whatever somebody gives to you and not swallow it hook, line and sinker,” he said.
The GOC said that during his days as a student, he was privileged to have participated in debate and quiz competitions which he said developed his confidence level.
“It is one thing for you to have the knowledge and it is another thing for you to practise it and to make it available to the public.
“It is my privilege to have seen that the students communicated a high level of knowledge and I believe that there are also good ones among you that did not come out to participate.
“I urge the teachers and the administrators to make sure that they continue to give the best to them so that their tomorrow and our tomorrow will be better,” Ajunwa said.
Ajunwa said that it was important for students to know that education was not only done in the classroom but also done outside the classroom.
“So, we must teach them to remain focused in that direction that is why you have to bring them out for activities such as this, sports among others.
“By so doing, they will have a complete education that is comprehensive and that is why this type of programmes are important.
“I believe in them because all of us are actually products of the same process and we will not allow the process to die,” Ajunwa said.
Muhammad Owolawi, an SSS 3 student of CDSS, Lagos (Ipaja), said that such competitions had helped him to build his self esteem.
Owolawi ascribed his ability to speak in public to his teachers and his colleagues who encouraged him to be bold and always give his best.
Also, Mariam Adebayo, 12-year-old student in JSS 3, CDSS, Ojo said that her participation in debate, especially, when it brought laurels to her school, suppressed her initial stage fright.
Adebayo said that she was grateful for such opportunity to engage in public speaking and looked forward to more competitions in future.
Source: News Agency of Nigeria