PUPILS from various schools in Limpopo met in the Lebowakgomo legislature outside Polokwane at the weekend. They had come to compete in the 2010 Anglo American and Sowetan Young Communicators Awards.
After delivering their prepared speeches, the Grade 11 and 12 pupils debated whether national service should be introduced for young people and matriculants.
They entertained their parents, teachers, friends, relatives and judges as they raised views and opinions that youths would be wasting valuable study time learning about discipline. Most of the speakers felt discipline was the responsibility of families and schools.
Some of the female candidates argued that the authorities should go ahead with military training for youths, but the boys argued that this would be a waste of resources.
They insisted that the government should focus on directing funds towards academic development projects, particularly those aimed at easing the transition from high school to tertiary education.
Pupils who supported national training for youths said the initiative would inculcate morality.
This youth development initiative is supported by all the provincial education departments. Education MECs are patrons of the YCA and the Aggrey Klaaste Nation Building Foundation is a partner.
l Phuphu Mhlaba of the Merensky High School in Tzaneen was named regional winner and Sedzani Muswedi of Louis Trichardt High School and Pataki Matlou of S van der Merwe Secondary School were the runners-up.