To encourage learners at the basic education level schools in Durban and the surrounding areas, the Schools Liaison unit at the University’s Department of Marketing and Communication has introduced a debate competition to several schools in and around the greater area and the south coast of the province.
Sithembile Maphumulo, the Schools Liaison Officer at MUT, said they were running a debate competition among the learners to help them with their communication skills.
“We have five schools that we are visiting to listen to the learners debating selected topics. We aim to encourage the learners to be able to first think about the topic, then prepare and present their arguments to a panel of judges, who will then assess and give the outcome of the debate,” said Maphumulo.
The competition will also help the learners to improve their English language skills as the debate is only conducted in English. Maphumulo said on 8 July 2022 she and other members of the division, went to Emachobeni Secondary School in Inanda, to facilitate the debate competition. She said the standard of the learners’ presentation was high.
“The four judges eventually settled for Linda Ntuli, a grade 11 learner, as the winner out of six learners,” said Maphumulo. The judges scored the learners on their understanding of the topic, and their proposed solutions to the two questions the learners had to respond to.
“Linda’s performance was really impressive. She was able to tell her story well. All the other five learners were good, but Linda’s performance was even better,” said Maphumulo.
A nervous-looking but confident Linda said she was “surprised” at being chosen as the winner. Linda, like all other interlocutors, said she was motivated by her background, and family values, which included her religion. Now Linda will take part in the next level of the competition.
The Principal of the school, Nomusa Majozi, applauded MUT for its contribution to encouraging learners at her school to focus on their studies, and prioritise their future. She was happy with the advice the MUT staff gave the learners.
The other schools to be visited are King Shaka High School in Umlazi Township; Masibumbane High School in Ulundi, northern KwaZulu-Natal; Luthuli High School, in Mthwalume, in the south of the province; and Masijabule High School, in Kwaswayimani, near Pietermaritzburg.
Maphumulo said the selection process for the overall winner of the competition will happen from 8 July to 2 August 2022.