During his 2022 Fulbright Teacher Exchange at Montana State University, Godlove Wilson of Tanzania met Adam Thane, a local speech and debate coach. The two educators were paired as partner teachers at Bozeman High School and began collaborating with the shared goal of helping their students develop leadership, research, public speaking, and critical thinking skills.
While at Bozeman, Godlove became interested in public-forum style speech and debate. Adam and Godlove also discussed how the Bozeman High School Speech and Debate Team and the IQ Interschool Challenge could connect in the future. The IQ Interschool Challenge was first coordinated in 2020 by the Tanzanian English Language Teacher Association and Star Media to support underserved students learning from home during the COVID-19 pandemic but has since expanded to dozens of regional schools.
In June 2023, with Godlove’s support, Adam traveled to Tanzania with a team of eleven students and five educators from Bozeman High School. For three weeks, the team trained 60 Tanzanian students and educators from 30 schools in Mwanza on speech and debate principles. Six fellow Fulbright Teacher Exchange alumni from Tanzania played an important role in the execution of the project by serving as coordinators and mentors.
The first week focused on training students in research and writing. This was followed by pairs of students participating in a debate tournament. The Tanzanian students showcased their abilities in the first Pan-African Speech and Debate tournament at the Summer 2023 IQ Interschool Challenge.
Godlove and Adam hope to broaden the debate program’s scope and impact in other regions in Tanzania such as Arusha, Kilimanjaro, and Dar es Salaam, then expand further into Sub-Saharan Africa. The two teachers have begun reaching out to educators in eleven other African nations to lay the foundation for future competitions and plan to seek funding to support this wider scope. Throughout their work together, the relationship between Musabe and Montana students will continue to thrive.
Godlove Wilson is an alum of the Fulbright Teaching Excellence and Achievement Program 2022, Tanzania to United States (Montana State University).