The Symphony of Speech High School Debate has been rolled out in the Ashanti region as part of efforts to shape high school students as effective future leaders by building a high level of self esteem amongst them.
The debates are planned to take a national character for senior high school students to engage in intellectual and healthy discourse on pertinent issues.
It is an initiative of Opunimagine Leadership Organization, an NGO and supported by the Otumfuo Charity Foundation.
The programme is designed to enhance the oratory skills of students and as well keep students abreast with modern issues on both national and international scenes.
Organizers hope the competition would help inject the students with enormous charisma, aptly shape their public speaking and general communication manners, and provide them with tactics on how to logically organize their ideas, which are all essential tools for the creation of successful and flourishing business entrepreneurs, as well as effective civil servants and political leaders.
It is also expected that the research skills that are acquired in preparation for this highly competitive debate competition, and the several other skills required to win the competition would help these students improve upon their academic performance, in terms of how they are able to comprehend the English Language in which academic work is conducted, so they can perform better in the West African Senior High School examinations.
Director of Opunimagine Leadership Organization, Nicholas Opuni Opoku noted that “majority of the persons who are currently holding leadership positions in government, business enterprises and Civil Society Organizations are persons who have been shaped positively by their participation in debate and other public speaking engagements while in school. Thus, underlining the fact that the Symphony of Speech High School Debate competition would go a long way to structure participating students into prominent and influential leaders, on whose shoulders the wheels of the nation can speedily progress in the near future for the building of a developed nation”.
Being the first of its kind in Ghana schools, the DEBATE DUEL format will be adopted at the grand finale of Symphony of Speech High School Debate 2012, said Co-director, Isaac Opuni Frimpong.
“This is an adaptation of the debate form used internationally, in an original concept. It involves both sides facing each other, trading their arguments one after the other, such that a point raised by one side is promptly debunked by the other side, who quickly establishes a strong point. This format is fast moving and exciting, and keeps speakers on the tips of their toes and the entire audience, judges included, on the edges of their seats”.
The finals of the Symphony of Speech which is scheduled for Saturday, 24th November, 2012 at the Engineering Auditorium at KNUST would feature four senior High Schools in the Ashanti Region including; Kumasi Academy, Yaa Asantewaa SHS, Prempeh College and St. Louis SHS, battling for glory.
The thought provoking motions that the students would be speaking for and against during the semi-finals and finals on Saturday include: “Ghana's black gold glitters but is more likely to turn black;” “free speech should be restricted,” and “Africa has the right to foreign aid and the Western world owes it a duty to the continent as a responsibility.”
Competing schools would walk away with prizes from sponsors of the programme, including; Alliance Francaise, LifeLink Ghana, Touch of Bronze Ltd, Indomie Noodles, Nestle Ghana Ltd, Kingdom Books and Stationery, Napex UBI Petroleum Ltd, Davida Designs Décor and Studio 225.