“It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it.”
― Joseph Joubert
Debate is one of the educational activities that give students creative room to express what they feel. The length and scope of knowledge that students gain through this is simply unparalleled.
L’ecole for Advanced studies has set the benchmark for conducting activities in such a way that the students not only enjoy but also learn a great deal from it. With the same perspective in view, an intra school Debate Competition (Urdu and English) was held at L’ecole as kick-starter event for the year 2019-2020. Students of the Cambridge Primary section, Cambridge Secondary section and Senior O’ level section participated with great enthusiasm and zeal. Students were divided into teams as per their houses, namely Team Hugo, Team Voltaire, Team Descartes and Team L’ecole. With different topics chosen for each debate, some participants argued for the motion and some against the motion. The teams were well prepared and they used various skills like overstatement, definition, rhetoric, irony etc. to convince the audience and the jury. The participants, armed with statistics and data validated and made their arguments more emphatic with right facial expressions, body movements and gestures.All the teams exhibited great oratorical skills. They put in tremendous hard work to showcase their hidden talent. The debaters displayed confidence in presenting their arguments before audience and a panel of eminent jury members namely, Mrs. Raheel khan, Sir Ahmed Tariq, Dr. Samana Rashid and Miss Massarat. Certificates and accolades such as “Best speaker” were presented to deserving debaters.
On 4th September 2019, eager learners of the Cambridge Primary section displayed their oratorical skills at the English Debate competition. Out of many participants only a handful secured top positions for producing great arguments namely, Fatima Shehzad from Grade 4 and Abdullah Zeeshan from Grade 5. Another treat for the audience and jury was Ayaan Zeeshan from Grade 3 who secured top position for reciting and writing insightful poetry. On the other hand, students from the Cambridge secondary section and Senior O level section battled English Parliamentary debates out in order to secure top positions for their respective houses in the semi-finals on 4th September 2019 and the finals on 5th September 2019. At the end of the heated but interesting debates, finally House L’ecole from the Secondary section and House Descartes from the O level section were declared winners. Best speaker awards were presented to Naima Fatima Ahmed from Grade 7 and Zain Hashmi from Grade 11.
Furthermore, an Urdu Parliamentary debate competition was held on 11th and 12th September 2019 between the Cambridge secondary section and Senior O’ level section. Participants displayed an array of strong Urdu vocabulary, various lines of reasoning and impeccable argumentation. House Hugo from the Secondary section and House Voltaire from the O’ level section were declared winners. Ayaan Asim from Grade 7 and Musk-e-Zohra from grade 9 won the title of “Best Speaker”.
This event was an intensive learning process for the entire student body; it helped students increase their confidence, poise, and self-esteem. Various topics required different research and this helped students broaden their horizon and attain knowledge that is outside of their normal academic subjects. Furthermore, it enabled students to enhance their ability to structure and organize thoughts. The process of preparing rebuttals augmented their analytical, research and note-taking skills. Also, it Improved student’s ability to form balanced, informed arguments using reasoning and evidence. In the end, the debate itself developed an effective speech composition and delivery along with strong teamwork.