Youth for Change, a youth-oriented and intellectual organization, is expected to launch a nationwide high school debate targeting 150 schools from across the country.
Youth For Change which is built on three cardinal pillars aimed at empowering, mentoring and proving intellectualism for upcoming youthful generations in an effort to boost the country’s educational sector through a series of debates and discussions.
According to the group’s Executive Director Alex Devine, this year’s nationwide debate is intended to reach out to promising scholars across Liberia through the debate of critical local and international issues across the globe.
Devine explained that the 2018 debate tournament offers huge prizes for winners ranging from 500 USD to 3,000USD with 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4 places categories. The debate will also focus on topics including governance, politics, social and trending issues around the globe.
“We are launching the entire process in December, Ganta, Nimba County, with participating schools from the led war counties will receive the fixtures and this will last for the 6months”.
“At the final stages of the competition, four (4) schools will come to Monrovia and participate in the grand finals in which their prizes will be given to them, this will bring out the enthusiasm and urge for learning and research among young people in the country”.
He disclosed that his organization is currently in the process of training previous high scores debaters to serve as judges in the upcoming debate tournament as a means of promoting academic excellence in the sector which he stated will motivate more young people in career development.
“Previous debates have had big names like historians, lawyers and other people in society but this year’s debate will take a turn as our own certified debaters will serve as a adjudicate”, Devine said.
He mentioned that the process requires 120,000USD for its operation across the country, which he stated further that partnership from government including local institutions is welcomed.
“At the moment Orange Liberia which is our lead sponsor has contributed between 15-17,000USD for the debate while we are networking with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport to help in getting shuttles, hall rentals in the counties and additional support from other partners is important”.
He encouraged the government of Liberia to own the debate process as a means to strengthen the broken educational system nationally and internationally,
“most students from the previous debates have been representing Liberia on international tournaments thereby raising the country’s flags with high performance and recognition”.
The Youth For Change started the inter-high school debate in 2015 to aid the government of Liberia curb super Friday amongst young people and foster a stronger focus on academics through intellectual debates. The group has successfully held three series of the debate with the participation of schools from Monrovia and Montserrado County; escorted out over 75 great leaders over the period who are now leading change movement in Liberia.
In both 2017 and 2018, Youth For Change has led Liberia debate team to several international tournaments in South Africa, Croatia, among others.
The team first-time entry into international matches raised the flags with third place rank, most outstanding team, and won five games upon their first-time entry into the Orite Africa Championship.
Additionally, during the World debate Championship which hosted 68 countries in Croatia, the team ranked 8th out of 10stages for the competition with 6004 points.
Though Liberia did not win any of those competitions, Devine pointed out that the team’s appearances and performances presented a glamorous picture for the country’s educational sector.
“The system can only be tested in these ways on international debate platforms to enlighten the face of the country educational pace”, he noted.