Over the last two decades, Vietnam has been known as a fast-growing country which has achieved a considerable accomplishment in industrialization and poverty alleviation. However, the rapid development in Vietnam has mainly relied on heavy fuel consumption, increasing exploitation and use of natural resources, and hence, has not been reconciled with sustainability.
In this situation, the Vietnam Green Generation Network in cooperation with the Center of Live & Learn for Environment and Community, with support from Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Southeast Asia (RLS SEA) organized a debate training class “If energy has a voice” to raise awareness and share solutions in the field of energy to Vietnamese youths.
On Saturday morning 27 September 2014, in the office of RLS SEA, nearly 40 young people gathered to participate in the debate training class “If energy had voice” to improve their debate skill and learn about energy issues in sustainable development context in Vietnam and the world.
The training class opened by a small game which all people were divided into groups of two. Two members in a group contested with each other about a certain topic. The game received a lot of excitement from the young and helped them get familiar with debate competition.
In the second part, participants were presented about basic debate definitions and methods to establish a persuasive argument. According to trainer – Mr. Hoang Duc Minh, most strong arguments are closely based on a sound structure C-R-E (claim – reasoning – evidence) with each argument including one claim and convincing reasonings and evidences. In addition, Karl Popper debate rules, which has risen greatly in popularity as a widely used team debate format in international debate competitions, was introduced to participants.
Next, one debate competition was hold in the training class with the aim of helping participants to apply the knowledge acquired before. All people, working together in teams of 3 debaters, took turn to present and debate on topic “Is it advisable for Vietnam to develop coal-fired thermal power ?”. Based on Karl Popper debate rules, two teams were included in each match with one team given the role of the affirmative party and the other one the negative. Each side was given the opportunity to offer arguments and direct questions to the opposing side for cross-examination. After 2 hours of debating, most of the participants were able to present their perspective and highly appreciated by the Judges.
The training class “If energy had voice” not only developed the youth’s understanding of sustainable energy affairs and exchanged ideas about solutions for the green development in Vietnam but also fostered debating competency among participants.
“I am thankful to the training class’s organizers to create a chance for me to practice my debate skill which helps me a lot in my future career and further studies. Moreover, the debate competition is a friendly playground for me to make new friends and learn from every other.” – said Mr. Phan Thanh Hai from the Hanoi University of Science and Technology.
The program is under a series of awareness-raising activities on sustainable energy. The activities include competitions, debate training on energy, dialogue on energy… and many other activities from now until the end of November 2014.