By Bonaventure Ogeto and Brian Kirui,
Are you interested in the power of persuasion and critical thinking from a good debate? Well, here is how JKUAT students are utilizing and honing these skills….
A debate is a structured argument or contest of ideas about an issue that involves two sides speaking alternately for and against a particular contention. Those who agree with the statement or idea are the “Pro” side commonly known as the Proposers and those who do not agree with the statement or idea are the “Con” side widely known as the Opposers.
A debate is an excellent way of improving speaking skills and is helpful in providing experience in developing a convincing argument. Those forced to argue against their natural point of view often realize that an argument is like a coin, it has two sides.
The JKUAT Debate Society is a vibrant club that gives JKUAT students of all abilities a fun way of developing their oracy skills. The Society takes part in a variety of different debate events on campus, throughout the country, and across the continent.
The club is extremely active on the intercollege circuits of the Kenya National Debate Council (KNDC). This is a non-profit and non-partisan society that revitalizes intellectual and scholarly debates among Kenyans, particularly those in educational institutions and the community. Their sights are set on competing at the World Universities Debating Championships, the international championships held annually in the British Parliamentary format. The club also brings debates to the campus and the greater JKUAT community by engaging in public debates on various issues.
The team is composed of approximately 50 undergraduate students interested in debate. Some duties of the elected society team leaders include planning the schedule of competitions, planning introductory trainings, and running the program. Assistant coaches from within the school and the National Debate Council work with students to improve skills and prepare for competitions by reviewing preparation, observing practice debates, and leading lectures and seminars on a variety of relevant topics.
From whimsical topics to serious ones, the JKUAT Debate Society provides a forum for the lively exchange of ideas on a wide variety of topics. Whether you’re trying to improve your speaking skills or enjoy the thrust and parry of a good argument, you’ll find plenty of opportunities here.
Amid the noise and bluster of our time, society provides a quiet haven of dialogue where you’ll always get equal time and often the last word. The impromptu sessions provide members and visitors alike with the opportunity for entertaining contributions at the podium.
Each year, the club organizes the JKUAT Invitational Debate Championship, which is currently in the works, so if you want to be a part of this, now is the time to hop into the wagon.
Meetings are every other Monday from 5:00 PM and Friday from 4:00 PM at SPA 010.
Attendance is free, all are welcome.