Cries of Cheating Follow School Debate

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By William J.Mbangula OSHAKATI Some members of the Oshana Debating Team who took part in the National School Debating Association (NSDA) competition held last week have accused the organisers of favouring Ohangwena Region at their expense. “We were cheated in the quarter finals. Instead of allowing us to go through to the semi-finals and probably to the finals, our hard won points were given to Ohangwena Region on a silver platter for reasons not yet explained to us,” said one of the teachers from Oshana. The teacher accused the NSDA of having become a “self-enrichment scheme” which is collecting a lot of money from poor learners while its activities are not fair and transparent. He charged: “It has now deviated from its original aims and objectives to create a culture of debate among the learners.” “Each of the eight regions which participated was made to pay a fee of N$1 200 for registration but the prizes won were just worthless tokens of medals and trophies,” said the aggrieved teacher. Contacted for comment, NSDA president Mahongora Kavihoha confirmed the complaint by Oshana Region on the mistaken allocation of points to Ohangwena Region, which he said, was genuine but added that the complaint was lodged “very late” when the process was already irreversible. He said it was a technical mistake from the adjudicators for which they had already apologised. Despite the alleged technical blunders by the adjudicators, the competition was allowed to go ahead which resulted in the Kavango Region scooping the first prize. The second prize was taken by Ohangwena and the disgruntled Oshana Region had to settle for third prize and a consolation sum of N$300 for their troubles after being given a verbal apology by the organisers. Sanlam, Metropolitan, sponsored the event, which took place August 27-30. The FNB’s chief executive officer Vekuii Rukoro is the patron of the NSDA.