Liberia: Nimba County Wins Debate Championship

Education Minister Ansu Sonii pose for a photo with the winners of this year’s debate tournament     


.... As Education Minister promises budgetary allocation for the LNDC 

Nimba County, represented by and through the "Lion Kingdom" of the Ganta United Methodist High School, has been crowned as Champion of this year’s Liberia National Debate Championship 2022 (LNDC).

The College of West Africa (CWA) in Montserrado County took second place, followed by Cuttington Campus High School in Bong County, which defeated Margibi County. After different rounds of heated debate, the Ganta United Methodist High School and the College of West Africa (CWA) reached the Grand Final of the Montserrado Edition of the Liberia National Debate Championship 2022.

However, the Ganta United Methodist High School defeated the CWA in the Grand Final of the competition on  September 4, at Monrovia City Hall. The two teams debated the topic: "This House Believes That in a Developing Country like Liberia, Technical Education Has the Potential of Increasing Gainful Employment More Than University Education."

Proposing the motion was the team government represented by the CWA of Montserrado County, and opposing the motion was the Ganta United Methodist High School of Nimba. It can be recalled that the competition this year, which was held under the theme: “Measuring Learning Outcomes in Liberia,” included 450 high schools from across the 15 counties in Liberia.

The event was used by the organizers to measure students’ output which is tied to measuring Liberia’s educational system outcome. Since the debate was introduced in 2015 with 20 participating High Schools in its first edition in Monrovia, this year’s edition hosted a nationwide competition in the 15 counties across Liberia for the first time in three stages: the preliminary, central, and the grand final stage where the Foxes came out victorious.

Earlier, the Youth for Change Incorporated CEO, Alex Devine, said the Liberia national debate championship was established in 2015 with a quest to help secondary students grow intellectually and identify Liberia’s brightest students and assign them to a mentor that will groom them into their respective fields of study.

According to him, the Liberia national debate championship was established in 2015 as a result of their quest to help secondary students improve their communication and interpersonal skills and as well increase their critical thinking abilities.

Additionally, Devine said the Youth for Change Incorporated has a rich history of being one of the most esteemed organizers of high school debate in the country. 

He said, “The Youth for Change Incorporated has been accredited by the Ministry of Education as the official host for debate activities for all high schools across the country.”

In a special statement by the Minister of Education, Prof. Ansu D. Sonii thanked the organizer, Alex Divine, CEO of Youth for Change Incorporated, for buttressing the efforts of the national government. He said transitioning from yesterday to a better tomorrow is a matter of must that all Liberians listen to these young people who are making them proud.  

“We are making strides. Are we not where we want to be of course, but basically we are not where we used to be and so we know where we are coming from and know where we are going,” he said. 

Sonii said once every Liberian can have that in mind with focus and determination, he believes that, as a country, we will get there.

He said, “I believe what is happening now __ this country will begin to boast of men and women who are not intellectually inclined but more strong and fit to compete with others across the world.” Sonii, however, promised the organizer of the tournament that, come next year, he will ensure that there’s a budgetary allocation for them under the Ministry of Education.

Meanwhile, statements were also made by the South African Ambassador to Liberia and Wadei Powell, CEO of Srimex Oil and Gas Incorporated. 

Powell also provided several scholarships to participants of the tournament, while the South African Ambassador took the winning team for dinner right after their victory.