We need to talk – how school debate clubs are driving pupil performance

Since Tusome Africa introduced debate clubs in each of the ten schools it works with, pupil engagement has increased. With discussion topics ranging from urbanisation to environmental issues, the weekly debate clubs have given children the chance to imagine their futures beyond school, opening them up to new perspectives and possibilities. 

Meet some of Tusome Africa’s outstanding orators: 

The future attorney at law 
I want to be a lawyer when I grow up and a lawyer must know how to express himself well without fear and in good English. When I am debating, I imagine I am a lawyer. I am happy I get to practice what I will use in the future.” 

Latif is a Primary Six (P6) pupil at Canon Ibula Primary School. He has actively taken part in every debate session that has been held in his class. In December 2018, he was chosen to represent his school in an interschool debate organised by Tusome Africa. 

Shy pupil to presenter 
Tibasoboke Jonah, a P6 pupil at Kakongoka Primary School, was a shy but bright boy before he became active in the debate clubs. Through his participation in the clubs, he has grown in confidence and his command of English has improved. He enjoyed presenting to a large audience when he spoke to parents during the school’s end of year speech day.  

Confidence in motion 
Nalumansi Jesca is a P7 pupil at Bishop Willis Demonstration Primary School. She is visually impaired and was very withdrawn and rarely spoke in class or participated in any activities. During a recent debate she quietly followed the proceedings as usual, but to everyone’s surprise she put her hand up and said she had something to add to the debate motion. She went on to contribute to the motion and, at the end of the debate session, volunteered to give the closing remarks. She thanked Tusome for the work they are doing in schools, and said she felt loved and appreciated, and that is why she was able to speak that day. 


Tusome Africa