Parliament Commissioner and Dokolo Woman MP Cecilia Ogwal on Friday flagged off the national team to the World Schools Debate Championships in Indonesia.
90 countries including Uganda will participate in the competition that will run from July 31st to August 11th in Bali.
The team is led by Mahrukh Sajid from Muyenga High School, Abbas Luyomba from Iganga SS, Denis Musinguzi Kabila from Gombe SS and 11 year old Morgan Moconha.
National Debate Council (NDC) Executive Director, Gasta Kakaire said the council led the process of selecting, training and coaching the team of 4 debaters from 4 different schools to effectively represent the country.
The team is mainly selected from the prestigious national schools debate championship organized annually by NDC and hosted by Parliament every December.
“Top debaters at this championship are selected to the National Team; the team has two speakers from this championship. However for as much inclusiveness as possible, we also looked for outstanding debaters from other smaller competitions and one from international schools,” Kakaire noted.
He appealed to government departments, Ministries and the Parliament Committee on Education to lobby for a “mental sport” budget as is the case with other sports.
The team captain Sajid said she was proud to lead the team and also glad that she has been chosen to debate despite societal restrictions on females in her country of Origin (Pakistan).
“Basing on Uganda’s performance at the world level last year, although we didn’t register a win, I am too optimistic that this time round we shall register wins come 2nd August,” Sajid said.
Commissioner Owgal commended the National Debate Council that selected the team members for considering Uganda’s diverse culture as well as including on the team, Luyomba who is visually impaired.
Ogwal also encouraged the team to dream big by targeting to win against all the 8 debate teams that will face Uganda in the first round which include; Greece, South Africa, US, Mexico, Estonia, Mongolia and Czech Republic.