On 3rd June 2017, three students from Kigali Independent University ULK, Kigali Campus, won a debate challenge on environment. It was a competition organized by Gasore Serge Foundation to find out how much students from across the country are informed as far as environment is concerned.
A few days before the debate competition, participants had to pass through the pre-selection stage whereby they all had to write an essay on the theme which goes, ‘Importance of reforestation in Rwanda’. This essay competition saw many academic institutions from all corners of the country take part and ULK students did not miss out. Those who passed the essay writing competition were called for a two day training session before the debate competition could take place.
Three ULK students, members of the Debate Club, represented the university to this competition which was running for the very first time. The students in question are; IRANYURANYA Emery Ascension (ULK Debate Club President, Year 1 Social Sciences), SHYAKA Rayson (Year 1 Social Sciences) and MUKARAGE Kevin (Year 3 International Relations).
During the pre-selection phase, all ULK students proved their essay writing skills and marveled the examiners who could do nothing else other than considering them for the oral competition which was to be held at Kalisimbi Hotel in the City of Kigali.
Having made it through to the debate competition, the 3 ULK students had to meet 5 more students selected from the rest of the country to make it 8 altogether. With eight debaters, it was now possible to organize a parliamentary debate competition with 4 teams of 2 debaters each.
As soon as the groups were formed, the competition kicked off and the debaters had to show their standing and try to convince both the audience and judges on the motion which goes, “This house should ban the importation of industrially processed forest products”.
It was a tight and tough competition as each and every team vied for winning it while individual debaters shook earth and heaven to emerge best debaters.
All that has a beginning certainly has an end. At the end of the day, the adjudicators took some minutes to accumulate their marks and thereafter disclose the names of the winners. What gladdened ULK debaters and their fans is that among the three awards that were to be handed to winners, two of them went to ULK debaters with MUKARAGE Kevin walking away with Best Debater Award while SHYAKA Jesse Rayson scooped Best Talented Debater Award. Also, certificates were handed to the 8 finalist debaters to recognize their role in the competition.
As underscored by Gasore Serge, Founder of Gasore Serge Foundation, the official awarding ceremony will take place in Bugesera District on 11th June, 2017 where the debaters will join residents in that area to plant trees so as to make the area look green.
Good to say, the culture of debating has become part and parcel of ULK students ‘lives to the extent that winning competitions is for them a walk in the park.