5 schools gear up for competition in Yale University next year
By Magnus Eze, Abuja
The atmosphere at the main auditorium of the Nile University of Nigeria, Abuja, was an exciting one as over 200 students aged 11 and above; with passion for learning and a sense of adventure; assembled for the World Scholars Cup (WSC) competition.
Daniel Berdichevsky, who described himself as the alpaca-in-chief and founder of the World Scholars Cup, set the stage when he said “We welcome you all to this important gathering of scholars who would learn new things and explore many other areas of interest”.
The WSC is an annual event designed to motivate students of all backgrounds to discover new strengths, practice new skills and to inspire a global community of future scholars and leaders.
According to Berdichevsky, “The idea behind the WSC is to create an arena for inclusive enrichment where students can explore many subjects, practice many skills and meet students from other schools. It also focuses on bringing students from different cultures together to discuss issues and ideas relevant to today, the future and wastage of money.”
The first edition of the competition was hosted in the United States of America in 2007, and since then it has recorded tremendous successes in countries like Singapore, Dubai, Taiwan, Thailand, Chile, Ghana, Somalia, Italy, and recently Nigeria.
The Education Report gathered that the choice of the Nigerian Tulip International Colleges (NTIC) as 2017 host was informed by the pedigree of the NTIC schools and their learning model that encourages inclusive learning.
This year’s event was the first in Nigeria, and the participating students were thrilled to various categories of activities on display. Representative of the WSC in Nigeria, Lachin Belul explained that the over 200 students drawn from NTIC Abuja, NTIC Kaduna, NTIC Yobe, Key Science Academy Abuja, Nigerian Egyptian International School Abuja, and Glisten Academy Abuja, competed in junior and senior categories in team debates, scholars bowl, collaborative writing, and scholars challenge, respectively.
For team debate, each team debated on motions across all the subjects from policy to poetry, while in collaborative writing, participants were given six statements each from different disciplines and were asked to argue for or against the motion. In fact, some students were paired to argue for or against the motion. Each team member was given time to speak and research his/her argument with full access to the internet. After each round, winning teams faced other winners and non-winners faced other non-winners. The debate proved captivating with students from all participating institutions arguing for and against the debate topic.
In the scholars’ bowl contest, every team had a clicker that connects to the scoring computer. Each team worked together to solve analytic questions and multimedia challenges.
International Programme Director of WSC, Mr. Joseph Willard Harr, said “the World Scholars Cup competition fosters cooperative culture among students from different backgrounds.
The Global Round which is scheduled to hold at Yale University would bring together about 20,000 students from about 50 countries.”
At the end of the event, NTIC Abuja (CoED) came first in the junior category, while in the senior division; NTIC Abuja (Girls) also came first, and second overall. Also, Funtaj International School came third in the senior division. Other schools that qualified for the Global Round scheduled for 2018 at Yale University are Glisten International Academy, Nigerian Egyptian International School, and Key Science Academy.
Isabel Hahn, an official of the WSC, said these schools would represent Nigeria at the Global Round at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, USA.
“The Tournament of Champions is more than just another Global Round. Students will have the chance to interact with and learn directly from Yale students and faculty. They will attend a special panel on college life and on how to leverage the WSC experience as part of admissions portfolio. They will meet keynote speakers, including a Yale University professor. And they will come away knowing what it’s like to be a student at one of the world’s greatest universities”, she stated.
Some participating students also expressed satisfaction with the programme. Miss Aisha Danbatta of the NTIC said the experience was “enriching as well as educating. Initially, I was a bit apprehensive, but with the interactive session we had with our tutors I knew I had to expand my horizon and conquer new grounds academically”. Danbatta looks forward to “making Nigeria proud at the Global Round at Yale University next year.”