St James High School pupil Elethu Della has returned grateful and content from The Heart of Europe Tournament, a World Schools Debating Championship (WSDC) which took place in the Czech Republic
He said he owes his gratitude to Intsika Yethu Municipality, Chris Hani district businesses and community members who proved that education was a societal matter by affording him his dream trip.
The Rep had previously reported “Debate star could miss once-in-a-lifetime change” on May 17, when the pupil needed R24 000 to go to Europe.
Della said, “To get an opportunity of this magnitude meant a lot to me as a boy who comes from the rural town of Cofimvaba. The tournament was fun and quite educational. Meeting pupils from all around the world and debating against them was extraordinary.
South Africa had four teams. My team members were Unam Mjoli from Kwazulu Natal, Khanyisa Mqotyana from Dordrecht and Gideon Macepe from the Free State.We had eight preliminary runs and won six of them.
“It ran from Friday to Monday. Our debate topics include themes in education, law, international relations, politics, economics, technology, Europe, morality and ethics.”
Mqotyana from Dordrecht High School said: “This was an exceptional experience. We met pupils from different countries and got to experience their debate cultures.
“It was our first international tournament although we knew each other from the provincial debate. He said this tournament had brought them closer to each other and we were able to discover more weaknesses which we will take back to other debate pupils.”
Intsika Yethu Local Municipality contributed R8 000 towards the trip.
The municipality’s communications officer, Zuko Tshangana, said: “The municipality is always keen on making sure that education is a societal matter. We assist local high schools to ensure they participate in changing the lives of the pupils in the community.
Every year the municipality adopts two or three high schools for a year and assists those schools with educational and academic programmes.”
Other sponsors included Link Pharmacy, Cofimvaba Bookshop, Rhadie BNB, King Hardware, Boxer Cofimvaba, Evergreen and Mnqandi Garage, all from Cofimvaba, Build it, Zuko Garage, Maah Cash and Carry from Tsomo, Dr Kwaza Mawande, Mica, Engen Garage from Komani along with community members from Tsomo, Ezibeleni, Komani and St James Catholic School.