The Macedonia Youth Educational Forum (YEF) organised a Training of Trainers for forty high school and university students in Skopje on the 28th and 29th of September. The participants had been part of debate clubs for at least two years and many had been assistent-coaches before. They learned more about the responsibilities of trainers, and gained new debate and didactic knowledge in the process. This was the first time all Training of Trainers for Macedonia were held in one group and the participants were split into two groups in order to give everyone enough individual attention. It was a great way to increase the reach of the program and exchange experiences between the debate clubs.
The training consisted of lectures on the structure of debate clubs, responsibilities of debate trainers, the Karl Popper and Policy debate formats and teaching methodology. Trainers evaluated the participants on their knowledge, for example on debate cases or policy debate, and whether they could teach what they had learned effectively. They taught the trainers debate methodology and how to develop lesson plans and a basic curriculum. The participants used known motions for their exercises, such as the following:
- High school uniforms should be obligatory for students in schools.
- External testing in high school should be banned.
- The state should legalise soft drugs.
- The world’s fresh water supplies should stay under public property.
- Internet should be consider a human right.
The future debate coaches had to pass a test and get positive feedback in order to get certified as debate trainers. All new trainers are now expected to engage in achieving the goals and activities of the Debate Program for MOF throughout Macedonia. The academic year of 2013-2014 thereby promises higher quality teaching, well-organised tournaments and more integration of debaters from different debate clubs. Check out this impression of the event on the MOF website.
The Training of Trainers was organised as part of the project idebateEU. This is a cooperation project of IDEA Amsterdam, IDEA London and ten IDEA members from all across Europe. The project aims to improve cooperation between IDEA and its members and between members, sharing debate methodologies and organisational knowledge in the framework of common activities on European topics. The project is made possible with support of the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Commission.