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04.03.2005 Regional News

SUSEC wins National Debate competition

By GNA

Accra, March 4, GNA- The Sunyani Secondary School (SUSEC) on Friday emerged winners of the keenly contested National Debate Competition which formed part of activities marking Ghana's 48th Independence Day celebrations.

The winners, representing the Northern Zone, polled 388 points out of the 600 scored mark to beat their opponents from the St. Roses Secondary School at Akwatia representing the Southern Zone who had 373.6 points.

The winners would be presented with a computer, a printer and accessories and a cash prize of three million cedis, while the runner-up would also have a computer, printer, its accessories and a cash prize of one million cedis. The presentation ceremony is scheduled for Sunday, March 6.

Contestants debated on the topic, "That the practice of democracy creates national awareness, peace and unity."

The competition, which was mainly between second cycle institutions, starting from the inter school level through to the district, zonal and finally to the national level, brought out talents of the students on various topics of national interests.

Maame Abokuma Baffoe and Maame Tiwaa Osei-Nkansah both of the St Roses Secondary School spoke for the motion, while Sylvester Ackah and Eugene Asenso both of SUSEC were against the motion.

The anti-democrats argued that while democracy could be suitable and less expensive for a very small population, it was very expensive and its disadvantages outstrip its advantages for larger populations like Ghana.

They said democracy could breed political demagogues, promote tribal politics, abuse of incumbency, suppression of opponents, dictatorship, false representation of minority views, abuse of human right and social unrest.

On the other hand, the pro-democrats listed the advantages of democracy that preserve individual freedom, recognizes minority interests, ensure true transfer of power, ensure accountability and probity and promotes the rule of law.

Their opponents however, gained more points when they argued out the dangers of democracy using practical examples of countries that are at war due to abuse of incumbency leading to the breed of detractors.

Mr Yaw Osafo-Marfo, Minister of Education and Sports described SUSEC as the "giant killer" and congratulated the school for the achievement. He also commended the St. Roses Secondary School for fighting to the final level and encouraged them to keep up the flame of hope burning. Mr. Osafo-Marfo noted that it was important to hold extra curricula activities such as debates, which sharpen the intellectual faculty of students through in-depth research.

He thanked the teachers and encouraged them to continue with the good work despite the difficulties they faced.

He promised to ensure that all participating schools in future were awarded prizes at all levels.

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