Pupils from three high schools in the underprivileged community of Olievenhoutbosch will apply their minds to the problem of poor pass rates when the second annual OAA Schools Debate Competition takes place on Saturday, September 23.
Forming part of the Olievenhout Academic Awards programme, the debate will see pupils from Olievenhoutbosch, Seshegong and Steve Tshwete secondary schools take to the stage at Forest Hill City shopping centre to tackle the issues affecting their educational progress.
Each five-member team will comprise a representative pupil from grades 8 to 11 and a teacher. Mooted topics include whether mathematics should be compulsory for all pupils, and whether cash incentives for high test scores or the public posting of results on school noticeboards would have an impact on pupils’ performance.
Forest Hill City marketing manager Annah Moremela said, aside from finding solutions to very real problems, the aim of the competition was to develop vital faculties such as research, critical thinking, logical argumentation and public speaking skills.
“We are always proud to support community initiatives, such as this one by Goat Creative Solutions, which aim to get people thinking about and acting on important social issues,” said Moremela.
She said the three participating schools were to be commended on their strong academic performance despite the socio-economic challenges they faced in their community.
Last year, Seshegong, Steve Tshwete and Olievenhoutbosch obtained matric pass rates of 90%, 80.5% and 77% respectively.
Moremela said supporting educational initiatives in particular remained a key focus area for the mall’s community investment projects.
Last year’s inaugural debate was won by Olievenhoutbosch Secondary School. While all participants will receive medals and certificates, the winning school and best speaker will be awarded their trophies at the main Olievenhout Academic Awards ceremony on October 28.
The debate takes place between 9am and 1pm in the mall’s centre court.