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10 secondary schools in Lagos to lock horns in 2023 Eloquence Cup Competition

No fewer than 10 Government’s secondary schools in Lagos State are set to lock horns in the 2023 edition of the School of Eloquence public speaking competition which will hold at the headquarters of the school at No.36b Royal Palm Drive, Osborne Phase 2, Ikoyi, Lagos, on November 25, 2023, at 10am prompt.

According to the Dean of the school Mr. Ubong Essien, the 2023 Eloquence Cup competition marks its 5th edition, having started the speaking contest among government owned secondary schools in Lagos State in 2017. The competition was not held in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Essien disclosed that the opportunity of the competition tagged ‘the ultimate speaking faceoff’ will in line with the school’s tradition be used to commemorate its 17th anniversary of training Nigeria’s business and political leaders, technocrats and bureaucrats in the art of effective communication (public speaking).

According to him, since inception, the School of Eloquence has trained over 10, 000 Nigerians.

The topic of this year’s public speaking challenge is “Drug abuse and its harmfulness to youths.”

Speaking at the pre-event press conference at the School headquarters, Mr. Essien disclosed that the contest which is a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative of the school will be expanded next year with more schools slated to participate. “The objective is to give back to the society and groom future leaders with robust speaking skills.”

He further said: “As part of its corporate social responsibility, in the past seven years, the School of Eloquence has been actively involved in the ‘CATCHING THEM YOUNG PROGRAMEE’ of teaching secondary school students the art of public speaking and over seven years has trained hundreds of senior secondary school students in public speaking across over 50 schools in Lagos. The highlight of this project is the annual public speaking challenge known as the ‘ELOQUENCE CUP,’ a contest between secondary schools coming together to speak on topical national issues.”

The public speaking competition is meant to serve as a testimonial to the importance and power of effective oral communication and the school’s commitment to elevating the art of public speaking to mainstream levels in the Nigerian society which is keeping with its mantra of teaching the world to speak.

“The Eloquence Cup is also a celebration of the contest of ideas and the import and impact of the spoken word, its effective delivery and well-structured messaging. People in positions must be able to speak well – it should be mandatory for policy makers and office- holders; business owners and thought leaders.

“Leaders owe it to their followers to communicate effectively at the least. So, this competition feeds into the catching them young drive of the SOE. That is why we also refer to it as the ultimate speaking faceoff. If we teach them now and early to battle it out using their thoughts and words, they will not be found snatching ballot boxes or heating up the polity in their time. Public speaking is a skill that molds character because it stems from the mind and harnesses the body as tools to deliver one’s message to compel others. People who cannot organize their thoughts lash out easily and quickly because of mental laziness and unwillingness to subject the mind to the actual rigour of articulation, “ Essien said.

He further said that “he School of Eloquence as Nigeria’s foremost public speaking and presentation skills training school for business executives, policymakers and professionals was established in 2006 by West Africa’s only globally certified speaking professional, Ubong Essien (CSP).

“The school has trained and nurtured thousands of leaders in the specialty of effective oral communication. With its headquarters in Ikoyi, Lagos, the School of Eloquence has a centre in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja to cater to the speaking skills development needs of the political class.

Also speaking, the Registrar of the school, Mrs. Patience Essien disclosed that a Trophy, Eloquence Cup, will go to the overall best performing school while other prizes for grabs are: Cash rewards for individual winners as well as the teachers.

She listed the schools slated to participate in the contest as; CMS Grammar School, Lagos – Defending Champions/ Past Winner 2022, Queens College Lagos – Past Winner 2019 & 2021, Kings College, Lagos – Past Winner – 201 8 (Maiden Edition), St. Gregory’s College, Girls Senior Secondary School, Ikoyi, Falomo Senior High School, Ireti Senior Grammar School Ikoyi, Kuramo Senior College, Victoria Island, Victoria Island Senior Secondary School, and Dairy Farm Senior Secondary School.

A student from the CMS Grammar School, the winner of last year’s edition, Master Leopold Favour said that his school is ready for the completion, inspired to strive to clinch the converted trophy again this year, having won it last on first participation in the event.

Similarly, Miss Sophia Chukwuemeka who represented her school, Queens College during the press conference, said that her school is ready for the speaking challenge.

Queen’s College is a two time winner of the competition.

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