Secondary Students Urged to Test HIV/AIDS

The Director of Young Men Christians Association (YMCA) Justin Omar has appealed to secondary students to take HIV/AIDS test and know their status so they can continue to protect themselves in the society.

Secondary Students Urged to Test HIV/AIDS
Hon. Philip Pia Seated in grey suit, the WES Education Minister and other officials posing for a group photo with the debaters at YMCA-Yambio [Gurtong]

By Joseph Nashion

YAMBIO, 09 December 2013 [Gurtong] - Omar made the appeal during the inter-schools’ debate competition at YMCA in the state capital, Yambio. “For us to reduce the infection rate, we need to know our status,” he said.

The competition organized by YMCA aimed at building the talents of students and encourage interactions on issues such as Aids/HIV.

YMCA according to Omar came up with a topic and gave to five secondary schools debate on with an aim of creating awareness because once the students get t learn something,  they spread the information to the community and also to unite students from different schools. 

The director thanked the state government especially the ministry of education for standing solidly in supporting the debate programme between the secondary schools in Yambio County.

According to Omar, the high school dropout rate could be reduced through such debates among students. The topic of debate was “Adolescent pregnancy is harmful practice in the society”.  This topic was particularly to emphasize behaviour change and the young women and men.

Speaking as the guest of honour, the State Minister of Education Hon. Philip Pia congratulated the students for taking their time prepare and partake in the debate.

“Debate is very important,” Pia noted, saying debates provide the element of critical thinking which he said is crucial for turning bad into good through argument. The minister also said for a person to make an informed decision one needs to be somebody who can turn bad into good. 

“If all of you succeed in life, then Western Equatoria will be the best among all the ten states especially if you take debate seriously. Be able to talk in public, you are preparing yourselves become good leaders. Late Dr. John Garang succeeded to convince the Arabs through discussion,” Pia said.

He encouraged the students to take their education serious, saying “if someone misses the line in adolescence, it’s probably 90% to fail and to come back to the right path in the future.

He advised the students to concentrate on their studies and think of marriage after studies because it is very difficult to carry the two together. He said the students should at least have birth certificates to sit for their exams.

The minister appalled to the students not to be influenced by those selling tea and riding bikes to drop out of school and also reiterated the need to guard against HIV/AIDS.

Abangitea Secondary School, the victors won the trophy and a goat and the runner up Yabongo Girls’ Boarding School took a small trophy as Kings College at the third position was an envelope whose content was not known by press time.


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