May 21, 2009, 6:50 AM
The University of The Gambia Debate Association (UTGDA), with the support of the American Embassy in Banjul, on Wednesday held the finals of its debate competition.
Held at the UTG Faculty of Law in Kanifing, the debate was held in two levels: secondary school level and the university level.
Many senior secondary schools and different faculties of the UTG participated in the competition, which started some months ago.
In the secondary school level, the finalists were Nusrat and SOS senior secondary schools. The senior schools debated on the topic: “Africa will develop better with capitalism rather than socialism”.
The Bakoteh-based school, SOS, finally emerged as the winner in the senior secondary school level.
In the university level, the Law Faculty and the School of Education battled it out on the topic: “Are the current generation of Africans taking advantage of technical development to create wealth and speed economic development.”
The trainee lawyers eventually outsmarted the trainee educationists, according to the debate judges.
Muhammed Ndure, president of the debate association, said one of the aims of the debate competition is to promote public speaking, analytical skills, critical thinking and confidence among students of the university and outside.
He said the debate is possible thanks to the UTG administration that has given all the necessary support to the association, including funding of the finals.
“Also, the administration funded our association’s participation in the ‘Accra open debate championship’ held this year in Ghana,” Mr Ndure announced.
The president of the debate association also commended the US Embassy in Banjul for “the many great services offered” to the association since inception.
“The embassy has been our longest serving partner, and it is for that reason this competition was given the name ‘AMBASSADOR CHAMPIONSHIP’,” Mr Ndure said.
Prof. MIA Khalil, acting vice chancellor of the UTG, said debate is a stepping stone as it can help the students become good public speakers.