The new initiative co-founded by seven undergraduate students of the University of Ibadan, Help Us Grow (H.U.G) debut her maiden edition of inter secondary school debate and primary school quiz contest on Thursday, 22nd of November, 2018. The event which brought to limelight the new initiative occurred in the Faculty of Education Large Lecture Theatre (LLT), University of Ibadan with a view to _”bringing out the leadership traits among teens in Nigeria.”,_ said Mr. Maxwell Akinyemi, one of the co-founders.

In his welcome address, Mr. Maxwell Akinyemi disclosed that the history of the new initiative, Help Us Grow (H.U.G) _”started when the students of the Faculty of Education went on a compulsory Teaching Practice(T.P)”,_ where some(teachers-in-training) of the co-founders were displeased with how the growth and development of students suffer in the hands of poor facilities. However, earlier in a released newsletter of H.U.G on Saturday, it was explicitly stated that the initiative is _”a non-government organisation jeered towards the care, growth, and development of children, so that they can secure a future to be proud of, live a responsible and give back to the society that has offered them existence.”_

Mr. Maxwell further noted that the interschool contest is to develop the three psychological domains of the participants, which he said include – _”Cognitive, Affective, and psychomotor domains.”_ He also said that the name of the initiative – *”Help Us Grow”* was inspired by the need to prevent the disastrous implication of not engaging teens, the supposed leaders of tomorrow in leadership role.

Also, Comrade. Kazeem Bolarin, the chief judge of the debate contest in his keynote address, disclosed his failure _”to believe youth are leaders of tomorrow”,_ but leaders of today. He further advised the audience(students) that, _”to be a leader, you need to start becoming an obedient follower first.”_ According to him, _”Leadership starts now!”_ _”Whatever you learn today will go a long way in defining your future.”,_ he enjoined the audience. While reacting to the recent Hijab saga at International School Ibadan (ISI), U.I, Comrade. Kazeem Bolarin affirmed that – _”The damage that religion has done to us is much more than the good religion has done to us.”_ In conclusion, he advised the attendees to learn from the experiences of those that precede them.

In the quiz competition, the primary schools that participated include: Trinity home school, B’ alpha, Distinct Jubilee, among which Ajegunle Baptist nursery and primary school became winner of the contest.

Nevertheless, in the debate session, Abadina Grammar School went against Trinity Home school on the topic – “Priority of the Nigeria Government: Education or Economy?” While on the topic – “Child Abuse: Negligence of Parents or the Society?”, Methodist Grammar School debated against Distinct Jubilee International College. Furthermore, Abadina College singly debated against the topic – ” Technology is a bad influence to today teens: Yes or No” due to the absence of their opponent, Kolbovic international school. And lastly, Glorious Star Vision College(collaboration) also debated alone against the topic – “The best tool to educational advancement: competition or collaboration” in absence of their opponent, Immanuel College High school(competition).

Prior to the disclosure of the winning schools of the debate contest, one of the judges, Mr. Sadiq Gbenga, President, Central Literary and Debating Society, University of Ibadan in his remark said “Every debate has two sides.” “When you are preparing for a debate, do not close your eyes to your opponent’s side.”, he advised the participants. While stressing the importance of sourcing a claimed fact in a debate, Mr. Sadiq noted that “your source makes what you’re saying credible.”

However, Ms. Cynthia from Abadina College was announced the best speaker of the debate competition. Whereas, Abadina Grammar School came 3rd position, Methodist Grammar School came 2nd position, and Abadina College came first position of the debate contest. After which the representatives of all the present schools received individual certificate of participation.

By: Kehinde Amusan

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