The Great Hall of the Akyem Asafo Senior High School (ASASHS) was, on Wednesday, 27th November, 2019, set ablaze as four Senior High Schools within the Eastern Region-based Abuakwa South Municipality clashed in one of the fiercest and most keenly contested Debate Competitions.

For reasons yet to be known, the competition which was supposed to be fought among six Senior High Schools (SHS’s) in the aforementioned Municipality, ended up being fought among only four. The four schools which partook in the 2019 Presidential Debate, were Kibi-based Abuakwa State College (ABUSCO), Kibi-based Kibi Senior High Technical School (KISHTS), Asiakwa-based St. Stephen’s Presbyterian Senior High School (STEPPS) and finally, Akyem Asafo Senior High School (ASASHS) located at Akyem Asafo in the Eastern Region.

The competition was based on two motions and contested in two different rounds before an overall winner was crowned and given the green light to represent the Municipality in the soon to be held zonal contest. At the first stage, STEPPS paired with ASASHS, and ABUSCO with KISHTS. While ABUSCO and STEPPS argued in favour,  KISHTS and ASASHS argued against the motion, “Comprehensive Sexuality Education, a Dilemma for Ghanaian Schools.” At the end of the first round, ABUSCO took the first position with 17 points, placing STEPPS directly behind them as the second best performing school with 15.7 points. The third position was secured by KISHTS with 15.3 points, while ASASHS, with 12.5 points, took the last position.

In view of the foregoing results, the natural consequence should have been for the two best-performing schools to contest at the second stage to get the overall winner. But STEPPS could not be part of the next round of the competition due to certain reasons. This naturally propelled the third best (KISHTS) to compete with the first (ABUSCO) for the final crown. The second round which was contested on the motion, “Standard-Based Curriculum, a Hope for the Ghanaian Child,” therefore, became a tug of war between ABUSCO and KISHTS. ABUSCO justified their success in the first round by chalking another in the last round. With 15.2 points, KISHTS which argued against the motion, placed second to ABUSCO which argued in favour of the motion and had 16 points. The overall victory was, therefore, secured by ABUSCO.

The programme was graced by high ranking  personalities of the Ghana Education Service (GES) within the newly-created Abuakwa South Municipality. Apart from the Headmistress of ASASHS, Madam Beatrice Dzifa Hehetro and her Staff in whose jurisdiction the programme was held, other personalities who also made their presence felt at the occasion were the Abuakwa South Municipal Director of Education, Madam Grace Owusua Addo and her entourage from the Abuakwa South Municipal Education Directorate. In a short speech delivered by her, Madam Owusua Addo expressed surprise at the splendid performance put up by the contestants since, according to her, they had limited time to prepare for the competition. She also implored the Panel of Judges for the occasion to adjudicate impartially in order not to leave any side peeved. The zonal competition is scheduled for the 12th day of December, 2019 at the same venue.

It is our hope and aspiration that ABUSCO will defy all odds on that fateful day and brighten the face of the President’s Municipality of Abuakwa South. Long live ABUSCO, long live the Presidential Debate, long live Ghana. 
Felix Nyarko Acheampong reports for ghanaeducate.com.

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