In an unprecedented move, Georgia is set to host its first international public debate from June 19-21, 2023. The event is part of the "Debates for Better Education" initiative, spearheaded by the Debate and Education Institute of Georgia (GIDE). The institute has invited representatives from its partner debate organization in Latvia, who will participate in various project activities during their visit.
The delegates will conduct working meetings with Georgian trainers and discuss the impact of implementing debating as an optional subject in higher education institutions and secondary schools. They are also slated to visit numerous debate clubs across Tbilisi and other regions.
Among the participants will be the winning students from the "Debates for Better Education" initiative, who have earned fully-funded spots to represent Georgia at the International Debate Forum in Prague later this year.
Supported by the Gudavadze-Patarkatsishvili Foundation, the project has successfully established debate clubs across the country, including in Kakheti, Adjara, Samegrelo, Svaneti, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Kvemo Kartli, Shida Kartli, Zemo Adjara, Racha, Imereti, and Tbilisi. Furthermore, in partnership with the Ministry of Education and Science, the initiative has introduced debate as an elective subject in 20 different Georgian schools this academic year.
The "Debates for Better Education" project is designed to nurture free-thinking and independent citizens among students, by fostering skills such as constructive reasoning, argumentation, research, public speaking, teamwork, time management, and respect for opponents.
GIDE, the sole Georgian member of the International Debate Education Organization (IDEA), has a longstanding commitment to youth development and empowerment, which is brought to the fore through this novel initiative.