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On the 3rd of August 2019 five of our learners: Zukhanye Mack (Gr 11), Juliane (Gr 11),Kanda, Ayola Siboto (Gr 10), Okuhle Nogaga (Gr 10) and Rutendo Mugwara (Gr 9) took part in the first round of the SAAST National Schools debate.

The topic given to discuss was: ” Science and technology are key to understanding climate change and responding to it. Climate change will potentially impact many aspects of our lives, including health, access to clean water, energy, and food security. How must science and technology be used to respond to the harsh realities of climate change in South Africa?”

Each school had to give a 2min opening and closing statesment, discussing the topic through a chosen perspective. Holy Cross High discussed the topic through a socio-cultural lens. Zukhanye Mack delivered the opening statement while Rutendo Mugwara delivered the closing statement.

Sixteen schools took part. Ten schools were selected to go to the provincial competion, Holy Cross being one of those schools. The winning school of the provincial competition will represent Western Cape at the National Competition.

The topic for the provincial competition is: “Biodiversity is under threat due to influences such as climate change. Biodiversity faces other risks such as issues of biopiracy (illegal bioprospecting) and uncertainty in discovering useful compounds. In addition, there are many ethical concerns associated with bioprospecting. Do you think it remains important for South Africa to continue bioprospecting in search of solutions to myriad challenges facing the country?

Our debate team worked well together. Working as a team to put the best opening and closing statement together. They conducted themselves as professional young ladies and made our school proud. We wish them all the best for the provincial round.

I really enjoyed the experience. It was a style of debating I had never encountered before. It also opened my mind to many other effects and solutions to climate change. It was rather interesting to see how the other schools gathered their research and expressed their chosen perspective. I also discovered that I really like typing and can’t wait for the next round. It was also a huge honour working with my team and Ms Classen”.      

Okuhle Nogaga Grade 10

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