National Debate Championship

Only 10 days ago was I asked to take three teams of students to compete in the IAAS Olympic Debate Championship.

Keep in mind, we do not have a debate team. Nor have any of our students ever competed in a debate before. I had my work cut out for me.

Fortunately the Principal knew some members of the University of Indonesia’s Debate Team. We invited them to hold an exhibition and spend a few hours with our students to help coach them on the rules of an Asian Parliamentary Debate. I also through out my lessons and held in-class debates to help us begin researching the motions on agriculture, science and technology, energy, and the environment.

The basics of Asian Parliamentary Debate include: Two teams, one is the government and the other the opposition; the government supports the motion put forward; each team has three members; each member speaks for 7 minutes, each team gets to reply for 4 minutes. Teams may also interrupt each other with “Points of Information”.

We did well. In fact for this being our first contest, and one that was slightly rigged in how it forced our teams to debate each other so that only one team could move to the semifinals; we did very well.

We got third place! About 1,000,000RP, certificates, and medals. Now, we prepare for the larger competition next month in Jakarta. Bring it!

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