By Maryam Garba Hassan
…Blames fallen standard of education on decline in reading culture
Former Minister of State for Education and Chairman of Advisory board, Presidential School Debate, Nigeria, Professor Jerry Agada, has said Nigeria has been given the right to host the world schools debate competitions by 2016.
He disclosed that this was achieved because of the nation’s zeal to revamp her education sector and bring back reading culture among students.
Agada also blamed the fallen standard of education in the country on its dying reading culture among students and teachers saying there is need for governments, schools and students to redouble their efforts in resuscitating reading culture in the country.
Agada made the disclosure at the weekend in Abuja during the annual debate competition for primary and secondary schools in FCT, organized by Mastering Debate Concept.
He said the Presidential school debates, is part of the global efforts to address the fallen standard of education in Nigeria and to encourage reading culture among its citizens, especially students.
The former minister, who presented copies of one of his books to the participating students, commended the efforts of their teachers and the talents displayed by the students.
He urged teachers to redouble their efforts in preparing students for such competitions.
The competition which was in two categories, primary and secondary school and participated by over 23 schools, brought together students of diverse school back grounds in the FCT environs to appreciate talents.
The participating schools were presented with certificates and awards.
Organizer of the annual competition, Mr. Akinsola Olalekan, said the competition was a platform for expressing one’s self, building intellectual capacity amongst students and exposing them to speech and public speaking adding that it is a debate that is base on merit.
He said the idea was initiated to groom school children for speech development, language control and general appreciation of the environ.
Schools that participated in the debate include, Glorious Stars International school which came 3rd in the primary school category, Darussalam Islamic Academy, which took second position and MaterMisericordial Nursery and Primary school, which came first.
For the secondary school category, Apex Star Academy, Peoples Comprehensive Academy and Hope International School came, 3rd, 2nd and first respectively.
Over 20 topics were extensively debated by the school children.
Participating schools were, Yusrah Model Islamic Academy, Darussalam Islamic Academy, Busy Brain Nursery and Primary School, Better Choice Academy, St. Mary Nursery and Primary School, Kings International School, Sky Gold Academy among others.