National Schools Debates Competition

The SAASTA National Schools Debates Competition is one of the flagship projects that provides learners with an opportunity to develop their research, critical thinking, and information literacy skills, as well as their ability to work as a team to present logical arguments. Amongst the objectives of the competition is to build science communication ambassadors out of learners through researching and debating of high-level scientific topics. The competition, established in 2008 in three provinces, has since expanded to include all nine provinces.

Who may enter?

Learners from grades 9 – 11 who are:

  • interested in developing their scientific research and information literacy skills;
  • critical thinkers; and
  • willing to work as a team to present logical, clear arguments. At least two of the learners must take science-related subjects at school.

How does it work?

The SAASTA Schools Debates structure is not based on proposition/opposition presentations, but allows debaters to engage with one another and move toward a common resolution. Perhaps one of the most interesting features is the mini-imbizos by means of which learners get to interact with one another and share ideas through breakaway discussions and by making use of social media.

The selection process

Due to its popularity and the fact that the competition is limited to 10 schools per province, the 10 schools will be selected at the provincial workshops based on how well the schools do in a “mini-debate”. All schools attending the workshop will be required to prepare and deliver an opening and closing statement from the perspective of their choice.

Important dates

Provincial workshops 3 August 2019
Provincial tournaments 24,31 August, 7 September  2019 ( 3  provinces per weekend)
Final tournament 24 September 2019

Venues for the tournament will be communicated to all the schools in due course . 

Provincial tournaments dates

Dates Provinces
24 August 2019 Eastern Cape Western Cape Northern Cape
31 August 2019 Kwa Zulu Natal Free State Mpumalanga
7 September 2019 North West Gauteng Limpopo

Get in touch with us

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