Students from various departments at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) recently gathered in the school conference hall for a debate organized by Toastmasters Club and facilitated by Imbuto Foundation.
According to Diana Mpyisi, the representative from Imbuto Foundation, the key reason for the debate was to enhance public speaking, leadership, confidence and communication skills among varsity students.
The debate was held under the theme ‘should marriage be encouraged for undergraduate students?”
It was characterized by heated argument as some students proposed while others opposed the motion.
According to Dr. Jean Baptiste Rusine, the Director of KIST Language Learning Centre, the debate was the first ever in the history of KIST.
He said that many people take it for granted that science and technology students do not need to master languages, which he said was a wrong mentality that needs to change, saying that proficiency in languages was paramount among KIST students.
“Fluency in English will help fresh graduates express themselves and excellence in communication will assist them to articulate their potential and to defend their credentials,” he noted.
“Debates help students to become critical thinkers, researchers and empower them with good personal presentation skills. This is an element that is lacking in our students,” Rusine said.
The arbitration panel included Rusine, Mpyisi and Jennifer Kyakwita from KIST English Department.
“I am extremely impressed and overwhelmed by the way KIST students participated in the debate and how they are very tough in communication, I was not expecting this and I encourage you keep it up,” Mpyisi said after the debate.
She said that the best 20 debaters will be selected and start Toastmasters Club at KIST and will be financed by Imbuto Foundation.
Toastmaster Club is an international organization that was founded in the United States in the 1920’s to help the youth polish their skills in public speaking, leadership and communication.