Education by Competition

The Team
The Great Debaters Movie

GREAT DEBATERS (2007) – 1935, Marchall Texas, Slavery abolition has been declared but racism and segregation are still remain. Professor Melvin Tolson (Denzel Washington) from the Wiley College casts students to form the school’s debate team : Hamilton Burgees (Jermaine Williams) the talkative guy, Henri Lowe (Nate Parker) the rebel, Samatha Booke (Jumee Smollett) female student and James Farmer Junior (Denzel Whitaker) fourteen years old student. Professor Tolson knew how to emphasize their skills and so the team becomes unbeatable. Their course leads them to break down the wall between white and negro people. The team of four turns out to be the first negro debate team in U.S to face white debate team. But coaching the debate team is not the only Tolson’s activity, he has his own fight ….

The movie is based on a true story of Melvin B. Tolson’s life, a professor at Wiley College Texas who during hard time in America, he stood and fought against racism an segregation with non violence actions. The Academy Award winner Denzel Washington (Training Day, Déjà Vu) decides to relate his history in this amazing movie as being the director and also performing the leading role. Denzel Washington chooses another Academy Award winner Forest Whitaker (The Last king of Scotland, Streets Kings) to co-star with him.

Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington

Forest Whitaker and Denzel Washington

The movie talks largely about Debat. It’s a contest where each participant is doing a clash of arguments about a subject. Professor MelvinB Tolson resume it in few words “Debat is a blood sport. It’s a combat. But your weapons are words.” In fact, although your opponent try to disgrace you, you will be also judge on your knowledge, your strategy and you approach? So, your argument have to be clever, judicious and funny at the same time. Not easy! well, being a debater required to everything but shy and weak. It grows one’s knowledge, builds one’s personality and even changes one’s life. We can even say, it teaches. It’s an evidence that contest like debat improve not only students skills but also school notoriety.

In Madagascar, there are others contests at school such as essay contest, dictation contest, art public speaking, but they are not taken seriously. They are more games for fun and not a real competition. Whereas, it will be much more useful than a simple game.

The US Embassy will organize the “International Education Week” (IEW) on November, 18th and 19th at the National Library in Anosy. It is an educational event that the US education department and the US department commonly organizes every year throughout the world. For this year, the ICE CLUB will take part in it. So, we invite you to come! you will have the opportunity to know more about studies in the USA but also the ICE Club.

Dagomc, English CornerMidi Madagascar – November, 12th 2009