Battle of Words and Intellect
After five long years the English Inter-school Debating Championship organised by Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club made a comeback.
With the theme 'Information wants to be free; break the bars of needless censorship', the executive committee of 2011-12 of Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club kicked off the English debate tournament named 'The Daily Star Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club 7th Inter School Debating Championship'. The organising committee of the event included Samia Aboni (President), Sadia Sayed Tamanna (co-president), Lamia Aroni (Vice President), Mayesha Tasnim (Editor), Bitasta Ahmed (Commercial Executive), Tamanna Tasnim (General Secretary), Nusrat Ferdous (Treasurer) and Rawdah Mahmud (Graphics Leader).
The three day long debate competition was an enriching experience for all.
This 21 year old club has been active ever since its beginning and has had some praise worthy achievements especially in Bangla Debating arena. Ever since the club started arranging English debate, it gained equal attention and appreciation. One of the changes that was brought in the club's usual tradition of debate was the introduction of a new format of debate--WSDC (World School Debating championship format). In this format there are three speakers on each side. The speakers deliver eight minutes of constructive speech and each team delivers four minutes of rebuttal speech. Fortunately for us, we got some extraordinary debaters taking the responsibility of the adjudication and tabulation. The chief adjudicator of the debate was Asif Newaz, former debater of NSU. Deputy Chief Adjudicators were Rishad Sharif (former debater, IUT), Paromita Islam (former debater, VDC, NSU) and Md Golam Kibria (former debater, IBA). As the tabulation director, we had Tanvir Hafiz (BDC, fomer debater-Stamford University).
The tournament started on February 16, at 4pm. We had two rounds of debate on that day. On the following day, three rounds of debate continued till 8pm. The motions of the five preliminary rounds were 'TH(this house) condemns the hosting of Bangladesh Premier League', 'THW (this house would) ban the showing of Indian films in local cinema halls', 'THW try child celebrities as adults', 'THW not have Chinese any more' and 'THW give two votes to the poor'. After the preliminary rounds of debate were over, we arranged a grand dinner and a break night. The break night featured a 'Masters' debate' and two dance performances by the students of our institution. The motion of the Master's debate was, 'THW outsource police forces to private companies'. The speakers were Tanvir Hafiz, Mabroor Wassey and Sajid Safwan in the proposition side and Wahidul Bari, Sinha Ibne Humayun and Asif Newaz in the opposition side. We ended the day with the announcement of the teams which made it to the quarter finals. The best speakers of the Preliminary rounds were Syed Muqsit Razee (Manarat 1)-Rank 1, Taosif Amin Khan(Academia 2)-Rank 2 and Nabii Hasan (Manarat 1)-Rank 3.
Students debated on interesting topics, which enabled them to grow intellectually.
On the last day of the tournament we had the quarter finals, semi finals and the grand finale. The motions of the quarter and semi finals were 'THW not make any further direct military intervention in any Middle Eastern Nations' and 'THW give capital punishment for poaching of endangered animals'. After these two knock out rounds, the teams who made it to the grand finale were Manarat 1(Shegufta Binte Zakir, Nabil Hasan and Syed Muqsit Razee) and Academia 2 ( Taosif Amin Khan, Mastura Tasnim and Shahriar Nobi). After a tremendous battle of words on the motion 'THW allow military personals to tweet, use facebook profile and blog during war times', the title of the champion of the 'The Daily Star Viqarunnisa Noon Debating club 7th Inter-school English Debating Championship' went to 'Academia-2'
This tournament was attended by thirteen different institutions - Saint Joseph, Manarat, Mastermind, Maple Leaf, Ideal School, South Breeze, Scholastica, Notre Dame College, Academia, European Standard School, Universal Tutorial, Dhanmondi Tutorial and Viqarunnisa Noon School and College. There were twenty six teams from these thirteen participating institutions, fifty two competent and well reputed adjudicators from various institutions and around fifty volunteers. The debate was an enriching experience for the people who were involved.
(The writer is the former President of Viqarunnisa Noon Debating Club. The article was written with the assistance of Noasheen Zoarder and Rehnuma Zaman, students of class 11)