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SMU Debate Director Leads Debate Workshop for High School Teachers in Nigeria

Dedman College News

Dr. Ben Voth, Director of Debate at SMU led a team of debate experts train high school teachers across the state of Nigeria how to teach debate. 35 teachers were accepted to the program among more than 45 applicants. The five day workshop in Abakaliki, Nigeria attracted teachers from across the many regions of Nigeria. SMU doctoral student UcheChukwu Agbo— who is from Nigeria— played a key role in organizing the event. Numerous local and African experts were part of the teaching team including Diakite Bangaly from iDebate Rwanda. Teachers learned how to teach debate and competed in more than 40 rounds of Coolidge Style and IPDA style debate. A pre and post examination of teacher knowledge about debate showed a 36% increase in knowledge of basic debate theory. In all discrete measures teachers showed a significant improvement and in two areas they showed more than a 75% improvement. The plan is to return to Nigeria in 2023 for further debate work. The workshops were entitled Global Great Debaters Nigeria and took place from Sunday June 19 through Friday June 24. The work builds upon previous work by Dr. Voth in places such as India and Rwanda to equip individuals to have their global voice. This is one of several elements of SMU debate’s world changing activity.

Teacher Umar Mohammed Umar Galadima HCNA, PPM, PMD Pro won the debate tournament on the topic of whether Nigeria elections are too corrupt. Teachers brainstormed five local topics for debate including whether cybercrime should be eligible for capital punishment. READ MORE