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Showbiz Reporter
The recently launched CBZ Schools Debate is in full swing with 1 000 primary schools across the country having already registered for the first ever debate in the country.

CBZ, Zimbabwe’s biggest commercial bank, teamed up with the Institute of African Knowledge (INSTAK) to bring brigance to the education sector through competitive debate.

“This is a tournament meant to develop critical thinking, reading and researching, active listening among many other benefits. Registration and participation is absolutely free and there are huge prizes to be won,” said Mr Isheanesu Sibanda, spokesperson of the CBZ Schools Debate.

Provincial finals have been slated to take place next month with the school’s set to battle it out for the finals in Bulawayo in September.

“A prize money of up to $60 000 has been set aside for the provincial and national winners. Provincial prizes of $1 000 will be doubled up if winning schools bank with CBZ,” event organisers said in a statement.

“National prizes set at $7 500 for the winning school, $5 000 for the first runner up and $2 500 for the second runner up will also double if winning schools bank with CBZ.”

Earlier this week, INSTAK released rules for the debate which is only catering for primary schools this year with envisaged incorporation of secondary schools in the future.

According to Mr Sibanda, two teams participate in a debate, with one taking the affirmative position and the other taking the non-affirmative position.

Both teams are allowed to have five team members, two of these being substitutes who can be changed during the course of the competition, but not within a debate session.

The topic for each session proposes a change in policy or belief and the topic will start by phrases like, “This House believes….” or, “This House would….”
Each speaker, of the three in each team, will be expected to deliver a five minute speech in a zig-zag sequence: first affirmative followed by first non affirmative in that order.

“The first speakers of both teams will give two and half minute long uninterrupted summary speeches after the first six main speeches. The non affirmative side will be the first to deliver a summary speech followed by the affirmative side. Points of Information can be made after the first minute and before the last minute of each of the first six speeches,” Mr Sibanda said.

To ensure the smooth flow of each debate session, each debate should have at least three personalities in the name of the chairperson, time keeper and at least one INSTAK trained adjudicator:

The INSTAK is currently on a nationwide tour conducting on-site workshops in preparation for the first competitions. A specially dedicated website for the CBZ Schools Debate goes live on Monday for people to keep abreast with the competition.