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Winners of 2011 US Ambassador’s Debate announced

May 4, 2011, 1:36 PM | Article By: Sainey M.K. Marenah

Winners of the 2011 United States Ambassador’s Debate sponsored and organized by the US Embassy in Banjul and implemented by the University of The Gambia Debating Association have finally emerged.

This followed months of debating between various high schools, and the various schools of the University of The Gambia, UTG.

The Inter-senior school debate, which brought together Gambia High School, Gambia Methodist Academy, St Joseph Senior Secondary School, Marina International School, SOS Senior Secondary School, and St Peters Senior Secondary School saw SOS Senior School declared the winner after outclassing Gambia Methodist Academy at the final rounds.

The UTG School of Education emerged winners after defeating the School of Business and Public Administration at  a well-attended debate held at the Gambia College Brikama campus at the weekend.

At the finals, the UTG category debated the topic: “Child soldiers should be prosecuted for crimes committed during war time,” while the senior secondary schools category debated on the topic: “Abortion should be legal.”

SOS senior school was for the motion while the Gambia Methodist went against the motion. School of Education of the UTG was for the motion while the School of Business and Public Administration was against the motion.

Participants were awarded certificates and prizes, while the winning schools went home with a giant trophy.

Participants in the UTG inter-schools debate are the following: School of Business and Public Administration, Faculty of Law, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, School of Information Technology & Sciences, School of Education, School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences.

Addressing the gathering, Muhammed Njie, president of the UTG Debating Association, gave a brief overview of the debating association, announcing that the idea of forming the debate club was introduced to the university sometime in 2008, during a visit by two US embassy officials namely, Tashawana Bethea and Mohammadou Njie.

“Since the establishment of the association, we  have staged debates, lectures and training workshops,” he said, adding that they have radio debates and discussions on various issues ranging from politics, environment, science, and economics.

He added that the debate topics are drawn by a neutral body and scrutinised by the executive of the Debate Association, as well as a panel set up by the association.

“The panel is independent and no participant from any department will be part of it,” Njie added.

Njie believes that activities that are being implemented will further strengthen academics not only within the university, but also across the board to other tertiary institutions.

UTG vice chancellor Professor Muhammed MO Kah expressed his appreciation of the level of performance displayed by the participants during the debate, while congratulating them for a job well done.

“This debate is unprecedented in the UTG seeing young ones debating from different perspectives. We are indeed proud of you, and this is indeed a wonderful moment for the UTG. You are all winners,” he said, while commending the US Embassy for sponsoring the debate.

Among the audience was Dr Ibrahima Malick Samba, former WHO Director General, US Ambassador Pamela Ann White, and officials from the ministries of Basic and Higher Education.