Debaters from the Believers International School situated in the coastal communities of the Accra Metropolitan Area in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, have been crowned champions of the maiden edition of the Inter-Schools SDGs Debate organized under the auspices of the Youth Path Organization (YPO) with sponsorship from Geemente Hove Community based in Antwerp, Belgium.
The eliminator series of debates which started some seven months ago in February 2020 among basic schools in the Ga South, Bortianor Ngleshie Amanfrom District, climaxed with the semifinals and the finals of the competition among four schools at the premises of the University College of Management Studies in Accra on Friday, August 28, 2020.
The winning school which went home with a gold plated trophy and a cash amount of a Ghanaian Cedi equivalent of $500 as well as a full supply of learning materials for each member of the debating teams, is expected to use the cash amount to pursue an SDG related project in their community to further the course of global efforts to minimize the effects of climate change as a result of human activities.
Debaters from the Parents Star Academy were also adjudged the Runner ups after an impressive debate between the two finalists on the topic: “The Negative impact of COVID-19 to the social, economic, political and developmental progress of countries globally”. The School went home with a silver plated trophy with a cash amount of a Ghanaian Cedi equivalent of $300 and a full supply of educational materials for each of the debating team members.
The debate which was organized by the Youth Path Organization (YPO) is meant to whip up the interest of the youth to engage in the global effort to pursue a sustainable development agenda to save the world from a further degradation of the environment and the climate.
In pursuant of this objective in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the youth-led non-profit organization (YPO), on Friday, February 7, 2020, officially launched the project dubbed: “Speak SDGs – Promoting student led literary approaches as tools for sustainable development in communities” at the Regent University College of Science and Technology in Accra.
The Believers International School and the Parents Star Academy which emerged as the ultimate winners of the gold and silver trophies respectively at the end of the day, had to go pass the debating hurdle of what could be described as a very tough contest at the semifinals level with other debating teams from participating schools under the topic: “Strategies to be put in place by the Ghanaian Government to ensure peace before, during and after the impending 2020 election”.
The four schools that made it to the semifinals of the Inter-Schools SDGs Debate included the Believers International School; the Parents Star Academy; the Royal Academy of Excellence; and the Astonishing International School.
Speaking in an interview with Africanewsradio.com at the sidelines of the event, the Programme Lead for Youth Path Organization, Mr. Abraham Eyiku Assiem, indicated that the initiative is to serve as sensitization channels to create awareness for the SDGs for children in the primary and Junior Secondary School levels.
He said, “The core objective is to raise awareness and let the children bring forth youth led initiatives that can help actualize some of these sustainable development goals. What is going to happen is that, our eventual winners have brought forth projects which our funding partners from the community of Hove in Belgium have provided funding for these projects in three months to six months frame.
“We expect that these student led initiatives would be implemented; it would be workable and we would have achieved our aim of encouraging the students to lead the discussion on bringing into fruition the objectives of these sustainable development goals as outlined by the United Nations.”
Mr. Eyiku Essiem added that they are looking forward to rolling out the programme nationwide to engage other schools from other deprived communities as well because it is their belief that “an educated mind is equally an active and healthy mind.”
The winning school proposed to take up a project in the management of plastic waste while the runner up also proposed to take up a project in the sanitation of water bodies within their catchment area.
“It is not really like the winning schools are going to have the money for free. We intend for them to carry out one SDG related project in their school. So from here we are going to speak to them and have discussions. They are going to develop their plan for implementing their SDG programme.” The Projector Coordinator of YPO, Ekua Afrakuma Armoo, said in an interview at the end of the programme.
She added that the organizing team was very impressed about how the children have picked up the concept of the SDGs so fast and were able to articulate themselves in coming out with very interesting recommendations and ideas about how to achieve the SDGs. A marked improvement from the previous debates at the beginning of the project.
The Youth Path Organization headed by Mr. Cyril France as the Executive Coordinator currently based in Belgium, is a youth-led non-profit organization committed to promoting the ethos of a youth-led development through the creation of initiatives that inspire and empower the youth to fulfill their potential and contribute to activities that create social and environmental impact in Ghana.
Source: Clement Akoloh||africanewsradio.com