New face of debating: Be natural and mind your points

Out of the box debating —- that’s what a United Kingdom-based institute wants children to learn.

Written by Express News Service | Kolkata | Published:January 10, 2009 2:48 am

Out of the box debating —- that’s what a United Kingdom-based institute wants children to learn. In a bid to break the mould of conventional form of debating,which is more formal,Institute of Ideas with the help of British Council will be holding for the first time the concept of “Debating Matters” in India.

Promising to be a unique debating experience with a different genre,‘Debating Matters’ emphasises on in-depth research of socially-relevant issues with a less formal setting than the traditional debating competitions and encourages young minds to engage with specifics and complexities of issues that arise in the contemporary world.

“The concept has already gained popularity in the UK. And this will be the first time that it will be launched on an international stage. At the national final,prior to the actual debate,the students will have the opportunity to participate in a series of workshops,lectures and presentations delivered by eminent professionals. We brought the competition here because we were interested in the emerging economies like India and China,” said Claire Fox,director of Institute of Ideas,UK.

Being active in politics during the days of Revolutionary Communist Party,Fox believes that debates of such nature will allow students to express themselves better and help them become aware of the nitty-gritty of relevant social and political matter.

Six schools selected from over 60 applications from east India will contest in the regional finals of debating matters to bag a place in national finals scheduled to be held in New Delhi.

The winner of the national debate will get an opportunity to debate with the champion of the UK Debating Matters in London.

St Xavier’s Collegiate School,Bhavan’s Gangabux Kanoria Vidyamandir,Don Bosco School Liluah,Modern High School for Girls,Loreto Day School Sealdah and Ashok Hall Girls Senior Secondary High School will be participating in the regional round in Kolkata on Saturday. Some of the topics of the debate include

“Protecting the public from the scourge of terrorism should come before civil liberties”,“Nuclear power is the best alternative to fossil fuels”,“The skills learnt from playing video games are just as important as what is learnt from reading books” and “Free speech is not an absolute right”.

The jury will consist of professional from all walks of life like academics,government officials,journalists,business people,scientists and artistes.

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