By: Yankuba Jallow
Mustapha Kah of the ‘Banjul Open Debate’, has said Gambia’s education curriculum, should include debate and public speaking.
Kah made this assertion at a three day retreat organized by the ‘Give Back Foundation’ of Tujereng on the theme: ‘Reshaping the Minds of the Youth for National Development’.
In an interview with Foroyaa, Kah expressed the need for students to know how to debate and learn public speaking; that debating is about providing solutions to issues affecting the society.
“I believe debate and public speaking should be included in the Gambia’s School system, so as to help develop the minds of students on the techniques of debating and public speaking. ‘‘There are some people with good grades who cannot express themselves during interviews,” he said.
He said the ‘Banjul Open Debate’ engages Schools by forming debate clubs. “We teach those clubs on how to debate. We organized debate competitions among students. We believe with this, many people will learn how to debate and speak well in public,” he said.
Kah added that the dynamics of debate and public speaking in the Gambia, is growing; that with time, many people in the country will be involved in debate.
“Debaters are leaders. We have seen many countries in the world using debate as a measure of leadership. Some will even go for debate during primaries. America, France and many others, use this. In the Gambia, this is the new trend. During the campaign for the Mayoral elections, we have seen aspiring Mayors engage in debate and I believe this may one day be used for the presidency,” he said.
In his words, Kah said debate is about knowledge and how to argue and counter argue, to drive home a message.
On youth leadership, Kah opined that they should be given the chance to lead; that at the grassroot level, the youth are involved in leadership but when it comes to national leadership, the youth are not provided given the chance. He said the trend is changing because there were some youth who contested during the national assembly and local government elections.
“I believe that the Gambia has competent youth who if given the chance to lead, will do better. Youth cannot be left behind when it comes to national development, because they form the majority in the country,” he said.