of The Gambia Debate Association (UTGDA) last Thursday commenced its 8th
edition of the Vice Chancellor championship debate and public speaking
The theme for this year’s event is: The role of debate in promoting social cohesion and sustainable national development. It was held at the Faculty of law auditorium in Kanifing.
President of the Association Fatoumatta Camara said the debate is an annual event attracting high school and university students to debate on current happenings in the country. She said the debate also fosters team work and enhance collective decision making among students.
Decision and policy making, she observed, are more productive when society is involved in giving out their opinion, saying it will create the environment for collective and informed decision making.
Nana Grey Johnson, Dean of University of The Gambia School of journalism said debate is used to express ones ideas, saying in every debate there is a side that support and another one that oppose. He thus advised the students to avoid argument and point debate.
He reminded the students that to present a good debate they must conduct good research to come out with facts. “Don’t be afraid to put authority to check,” he said.
Vice chancellor Prof Dr. Faqir Anjum said debate has been a critical component of every societal development and enhancement and can help to enhance research and knowledge generation.
He pointed out that debate also promotes critical thinking among debaters, which he said, is an indispensable component of quality education. “This is because a debater does not only win a debate by his/her eloquence, but has to factor in and utilize much more skills within the confines of the rules and speaker roles.”
Prof. Anjum said as a token of appreciation and to promote debate in UTG, his office would continue to offer hundred percent tuition waiver to the winners and fifty percent to the first runners up.
At the end of the first debate, the school of Journalism emerged winners with 79 points and School of Education with 71 points.