Holy Child SHS Wins GSA Debate

Holy Child Senior High School (SHS) has emerged champions of the Ghana Science Association (GSA) inter- school debate competition held at the University of Cape Coast.

The School won the contest with 90.2 points as against 83 points for Edinaman SHS, whilst Adisadel College placed third with 82 points.

The competition, which was organised by the Cape Coast Branch of the Association, was on the motion: “Students should be allowed to use mobile phones in SHS”.

The winners, Holy Child SHS, spoke against the motion, whilst the first and second runner-ups Edinaman SHS and Adisadel College respectively were for the motion. For their prizes, the contestants of the Holy Child SHS took home an undisclosed amount of cash, certificates each and a shield of honour for their school.

Adisadel College and Edinaman SHS contestants received certificates each and shields of honour for their schools.

Nana Ekua Yeboah Benedicta and Miss Paulina Selasie Kukuwaa Wilson, who represented Holy Child SHS, as Principal Speaker and First Supporting Speaker, respectively, opined that the use of mobile phones in SHS would cause disruption of academic work, promote immoral behaviour and cyber fraud, increase the rate of examination malpractices and pose danger to the individual in terms of explosion. The contestants further argued that the use of mobile phones amongst SHS students would cause fire outbreaks in schools due to illegal connections; it would also give students easy access to pornographic materials, adding among other things that there would be ineffective control, regulation and censorship of mobile phones.

Contestants from Edinaman SHS, represented by Affram Erica Selassie and Precious Addor, who held a contrary view, contended that mobile phones would enhance conference learning to enable students to involve in group work regardless their locations. " As students, group work will never leave our door step. Every school has day students. How do you expect day students to benefit from after school discussions? With mobile phones, students can sit at their comfort zones and discuss group work with just a conference call or create a WhatsApp group page to serve as a forum for  discussion between students and their teachers," they argued.

The debaters from Edinaman SHS, in their submission, appealed to the Ghana Education Service to lift the ban on mobile phones in High Schools and rather introduce guidelines to regulate the use of mobile phones amongst SHS students. They also supported the call by the Ministry of Communications for stakeholders in education to take a second look  at the ban on mobile phone use among second-cycle students across the country.

Masters Isaac Ayeyi Turkson and Ashley David, from Adisadel College, also debated in favour of the motion.

The President of Cape Coast branch of GSA, Prof. Victor Y.A. Barku, congratulated the three competing schools on their hard work. He said GSA organized the debate to encourage second cycle students to study science as the first choice subject. He urged the public to place premium on Science and Technology for rapid development of the country. He said the competition witnessed nine schools from the metropolis in the preliminary stage, with six schools qualifying to the quarter finals stage and three schools competing for the finals.

Sharing his perspectives on the motion with the media after the debate, Prof. Barku backed calls for the use of mobile phones in Second Cycle schools. He said:" Mobile phone is a technology. To me the question is: Is mobile phone disruptive or constructive? To me as a scientist, I will say it is constructive.It is good for our kids."

The Chief Judge for the debate, Rev. Dr. Philip Gborsong, who led a three- panel of judges from the Department of Communication Studies to award marks, said Science and Technology is the bedrock for the development of nations. He called on students and the public to propagate the study of science in their endeavours.

The function was chaired by the Dean of the School of Physical Sciences, Prof. David K. Essuman.