All set for the national quiz and debate competitions!

Preparations for the 4th editions of the National Universities Quiz and Debate competitions scheduled for the first week of August 2022 in Harare at the Studio of Choice are 90 percent complete.

For the first time, the two flagship events will take place in a week’s time and as a way to broaden reach, this year’s competitions have not been limited to universities only, but institutions like polytechnics, teacher and agricultural colleges are also taking part.

With provincial competitions having been concluded recently, twelve institutions of higher learning will be fighting for honours in both competitions.

Winners will walk away with a range of prizes that include laptops, mobile smart phones, and tablets iPads among other prizes.  

Both debate and quiz competitions are models that SAYWHAT employ to increase young people’s knowledge on their sexual and reproductive health and their educational rights.

The two competitions are also designed to equip students with skills to become responsive to emerging health challenges such as Covid-19, mental health, drug and substance abuse.

The main supporting partner for the two competitions is the Swedish Embassy in Zimbabwe.

The competitions come at a time students and other young adults are faced with numerous challenges in accessing health services in the country.

Masvingo Polytechnic College participants who are runners up at the provincial quiz competitions and ultimately one of the candidates for the national competitions, said contesting in the quiz competitions enriches young people’s research skills.

“The competitions add value to young people by imparting knowledge about SRH and other general well-being matters. The preparations and subsequent revision lead to wider research and studying, which covers knowledge gaps,” said Chidochashe Chikahamadze, a student from Masvingo Polytechnic College.

The Midlands State University (MSU) participant Tinashe Mutoro said the debate competition invokes urgency to respond to challenges students face.  

“We are excited and eager to meet the competition at national level but beyond that, I’m really looking forward to experiencing even more challenging and thought provoking motions. The debates create discourse and through that young people learn something new,” Mutoro said.

SAYWHAT senior programs officer Leo Munyonho said the aim of the two events is primarily to empower students and to also advocate for policies that fill in identified gaps.

“The National Quiz Competition aims to test student knowledge retention following a number of health awareness programmes that we implement as SAYWHAT. Debate on the other hand brings to test students’ problem solving and critical thinking abilities, and helps young people to strategically position themselves as problem solvers for contemporary health related issues,” said Munyonho.

Both the national quiz and debate events will be aired live on the SAYWHAT Facebook page, YouTube channel and various other media platforms.

Young people will have an opportunity to watch live the proceedings of both quiz and debate competitions on SAYWHAT’s Facebook Page and YouTube.

 Subjects that will be covered this year include Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR),  HIV, TB, cancer of the reproductive system, Mental Health, Climate Change, Drug and Substance Abuse, Covid-19 and Contraception among others.

The subjects have been designed to deliberately arm young people with information about emerging health challenges.

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