By Hope Abimanya
A SENIOR One student from Sarah Ntiiro High School in Mayuge has scooped a two-week trip to London for her outstanding performance in public speaking.
Tina Kisakye beat seven other contestants in the just-concluded promoting equality in African Schools (PEAS) public speaking competition, themed â€œEducation, Me, My Family and My Country.â€
It was held on June 24 at Onwards and Upwards Secondary School in Buloba, Wakiso district. Other participating schools included Forest High, Mubende, Kiira View, Jinja and Sarah Ntiiro High School.
With two speakers from each school, the competition got more interesting as the students passionately debated the trends in education, its impact in the classroom setting and beyond.
Kisakye was credited for her ability to talk with such ease and flow. â€œEducation has led to friendship both at local and international level where students of different cultures meet,â€ she argued.
The first runner-up was 14-year-old Leticia Nabanoba, a student at Onwards and Upwards Secondary School.
The studentsâ€™ delivery and confidence was impressive. â€œBecause of education, I know much more than my illiterate mother,â€ 14-year-old Gorrete Asiimwe of Forest High said.
â€œEducation is no longer affordable by chronically poor people in Uganda. Despite the fact that the Government started universal education in primary and secondary, schools are overwhelmed by the congestion,â€ reasoned 13-year-old Colline Kiiza from Kiira.
The panel of judges included Edward Ssebombo, managing director PEAS, Ball Nigel, the project consultant, Christine Apiot, the director educational excellence and Levis Mugumya, a lecturer at the Institute of Languages, Makerere University.
Addressing the audience, Ssebbomba encouraged students to be vigilant and look out for opportunities. â€œWe are in the world of opportunities, today its Tina and tomorrow its someone else. In everything we do, there is opportunity but it can only be taken by those who are prepared for it,â€ he said, adding, most schools are preparing students for the world that does not exist by preparing them as job seekers and not creators.
PEAS is a local charity that develops low-fee secondary schools to improve access to secondary education in Uganda.
It does this through creating projects that generate sufficient revenue such as beekeeping and brick-making. PEAS schools operate a sustainable, low-fee model where all running costs are met by the fees of students.