In 2012, the Ministry of Education and Skills Development partnered with the then Debate Masters Association to start a debate tournament for all junior and senior secondary schools in Botswana dubbed the “Setswana Debate Cup”.
After the successfully tournaments of 2012 and 2013, the organizers decided to continue the competition this year.
In that vein, a project that includes, but is not limited to, oral poetry, written poetry, debate, quiz and essay writing is finally coming to an end.
“This year alone, the tournament has increased value as now more students are keen to take part in these competitions,” said one of the adjudicators, Thato Best Dineo.
“Usage of Setswana as a language has really improved as participants are fluent as compared to the previous years,” said Dineo.
The organizing committee stress that they aim to reach to reach all schools across the country.
However, lack of transport and poor preparations ahead of the competitions have hampered some schools, and make them reluctant to honour invitations.
During tournaments, participants are also encouraged to pay attention to their competitions and avoid wasting time unnecessarily but take it upon themselves to do well.
Tlhomo Community Junior Secondary School (CJSS), Moeti CJSS and Francistown Senior secondary school are the only teams that have so far managed to scoop position one in the debate category. In addition different students from different institution have managed to emerge victorious in other categories.
The competition, which started early this year before it was suspended by a tertiary debate competition held at the University of Botswana this winter, covered almost all regions within the country.
This Sunday, September 14, Francistown will play host to the last regional competition for both junior and senior secondary schools.
“We are going to host our senior secondary school finals on the 27th of September at University of Botswana before hosting that of junior schools on the 11th October at Maun,” said Bruce Leonard Nkgakile, convener and founder of the Setswana debate cup.
Nkgakile said this year’s grand finale will be on the October 25 at the Gaborone International Convention Centre where tables will be sold for schools, sponsors and individuals from the whole country.
He added that a table that caters for 10 people will be sold for P7, 000. Only 30 tables are available, he said.
Meantime, motions have been sent out to all schools that qualified. Sir Ketumile Masire will again be the guest of honour.
Competing schools have been encouraged to watch Kgang Tseleng, a debate show that airs on Botswana Television every Thursday evening, to update their competence.