Debate Club

 Giorgi Revazashvili

The abbreviation IDEA appeared on the door of room 310 in the third building of KSU, in February 2003. Everyone was interested what was the idea about and soon discovered that IDEA is International Debate Education Association. Imtereti Student Debate Education Regional Resource centre (simply called Debate Club) is a member of IDEA.

Programme Director is Professor Madonna Megrelishvili, who spares no time and efforts to create excellent conditions of work.

The programme also has an administrator and three volunteer assistants who are responsible for the terms described in their contracts. And of course, students majoring in different fields at KSU, KSSTI and KSTU.

The programme is implemented in cooperation with the KSU English Studies Department. Peace Corps provided the programme with the equipment and free internet (during the time of programme implementation).

What do the club members think about the programme?

I find it very challenging to be a member of the Club. Every hour I spend there is different and not monotonous. The process of Debating itself is very exciting, but if you want to win you should have information about the resolution. Every member makes presentation on the information they attain from Club internet. Positive and constructive comments are made by all participants after the presentation, it helps you to learn from your mistakes. It’s very nice to have interesting talks with guests and American volunteers. You always have a chance to express your ideas no matter how critical they are, everyone respects your ideas. I really don’t have any chance to stay passive in the club Nino Chikhladze’s article from the Debate Club wall paper.

The team of the debaters and the audience were very active and the conference proved to be very active.

The day spent with non-parent children in Brotseula School Boarding House will remain unforgettable for all the members of the Debate Club. They played games with the children lest a football match, took photos. The children paint so well that we got the idea to organize an exhibition of their paintings. The children were also well informed about the current situation and had their ideas on ongoing USA – Iraq conflict which they discussed with the debaters.

The club has decided to organise a summer Student Camp for our little friends in Brotseula. We are planning trainings, tournaments and Debaters on National Development Programmes as well as lessons in dancing, fishing on the lake and discos in the evenings. These activities will help students to carry out micro projects.

The activities and work of resource-centre are highlighted in the centre wall paper. E-newsletter and web site are being prepared.

The skills I gained in the Club are the following:

  • Positive approach to the issue

  • Critical and creative thinking skills

  • Problem forming skills

  • Finding the position and defending it

  • Paying attention to details

  • Group-work skills

  • Responsibility for one’s mistakes

  • Parliamentary debate techniques

  • Analysis of the past for  planning future

And finally, Debate Club means the best way of communication for me, I have many friends and we are a good team.

Since the start of the Debate Education Programme the club has had a variety of activities.

In May the club sent Programme Assistants to Tbilisi to attend trainings for trainers. Later they gave a technical lecture series in the club. Critical and creative thinking lectures were delivered by a Programme trainer. And the thematic lecture series were delivered by the  invited specialists. The winners of inter-university tournament – (7 groups) of 14 debates were chosen to participate in the 9th National Student Parliamentary Debate Tournament (held on 11th and 12th of May). They were glad to find their names among semi-finalists. These two days were full of joy, excitement and gave great experience for debates. The atmosphere was friendly. Students from different parts of Georgia made friends, exchanged their e-mails in order to keep in touch in the future.

The ideas gained from the debaters tournament and two months’ working on a lot of workhop materials helped the debates to arrange a conference “World War III”. This conference was held on the 24th of May in the Green Hall of KSU. It reflected to the participants vision of war-related problems and their solution.