April 4 2010: The schools debate league continued to heat up as the schools faced off in rounds 4 and 5, raising the standards of debate and surpassing expectations.
Saturday proved to be a busy debating day and kicked off with round 4 in which the motion up for debate was “This house would force government to provide financial aid to pregnant teenage mothers.”
Arguments advanced by proposition teams included intricate details on how exactly the financial assistance would be carried out. In a high quality round of debate between an all boys Ledumang team and Livingstone Kolobeng College (LKC), 1st Proposition speaker Osi, laid down a brave policy in which he cleverly explained that hard cash would not be given to the teenage mothers, rather the use of vouchers for necessities would be employed. Additionally, the funding plan for such a project would involve loans and grants obtained from the IMF and the World Bank.
LKC opposition speakers responded to this argument by questioning the time period of implementation, the criteria/grounds to be used in selection of eligible mothers.
Bone, from LKC, went on to raise valid issues such as deliberate pregnancies and parental influence. This was further supported by colleagues Lone and Omphile who argued that granting financial assistance would breed irresponsible behavior in fathers of these children.
LKC emerged the victors in a tough decision made by the adjudicator. In an equally explosive round, Westwood and Maruapula locked horns leaving Westwood the emergent winners.
Other teams, including GSS and Legae Academy, limited the motion to providing assistance to first time mothers only in an effort to further the Millennium Development Goals.
After a nail biting 4th round, the first impromptu round of the league proved to be as exciting as round 4 had been with the motion “This house regrets the 30% alcohol levy”.
Participating schools demonstrated their ability to think on their feet after having only 30 minutes to prepare before the debates commenced. Debaters in general were able to comprehensively explain the purpose of the levy and provide detailed analysis on whether or not in their respective opinions this purpose had been achieved. In the debate between Map and Legae Academy, a focal point was in addressing the effectiveness or lack thereof of the levy. Henry Arthur from Legae Academy brilliantly put forth to the house the “attack the mind not the wallet concept” asserting that the solution to alcoholism lies in changing the mindset of the people toward alcohol through existing campaigns via the media; definitely a speaker to watch for in this league.
In response to that Nicole from Map stated that campaigns could still be run while the 30% levy was maintained.
The issue was further addressed by Faheemah (also from Map) who questioned the effectiveness of the media since it is not compulsory to respond positively to the messages from such campaigns or to adhere to warning labels on alcoholic beverages as was suggested by team Legae and stated that attacking the wallet presents a direct monetary consequence.
The weekend’s debates proved to be a demonstration of knowledge on the part of debaters as well as a real show of debating talents. The schools will now be waiting to battle it out in the final preliminary round on Wednesday as the war of words continues.
Why free speech?
The freedom to speak without censorship is one that plays a critical role in a society such as ours. The intrinsic value of this freedom is to serve the spiritual, emotional and psychological spheres of the human condition. At the same time, it can be instrumentally used to attain social, economic or political ends. There exists three reasons why the freedom of expression deserves reverence, promotion and protection at all times and costs. The first of which being, the argument for democracy.
The main purpose of protecting freedom of expression is to protect the rights of the citizens in order to enable them to understand matters of political concern, as such empowering them to participate in the democratic process. Freedom of expression facilitates political debate. Citizens become more able to engage each other and make informed decisions, especially at election time. Informed decisions can only be made by the citizenry in a democracy where there is a free flow of information. Beyond that, it serves as the people’s watchdog by ensuring independent criticism and evaluation of the established power of government.
The second reason “why free speech” is, for the sake of truth. It is argued that the suppression of opinion is wrong because it is only by the collision of adverse opinion that the truth is discovered or confirmed. Legal writers have advanced that, any opinion that is silenced by government or civil society alleging that it is false may actually prove to be true. Censoring potentially true opinions is denying the truth. In any event, an opinion may turn out to be false with or without an ounce of truth. By confronting the truth, the contrary opinions truth may be discovered. The best test of truth is said to be “the power of that thought to get it accepted in the competition of the market”
The final argument for free speech is for self fulfillment. It is advanced that, it is of overriding importance that a person should be able to express himself whatever his outer condition. One must never be subjected to another person’s will spiritually or psychologically. Free speech is an integral aspect to each individuals self development and fulfillment. It therefore, “serves not only the polity but also those of the human spirit, the spirit that demands self expression.
For these three reasons: “This House would resist all government efforts to censor the media”