The North South University Debating Club hosted the North South University Intra Debating Championship 2019 from the 22nd of November. This event was a platform for debaters to hone their skills of logical reasoning and for non-debaters to experience the world of argumentation and reasoning. It was an opportunity for NSU students to fulfil their cherished desire to explore themselves, uncover their potential and enhance the proficiency of formal argument.
Ph factor was the title sponsor for the event with The Daily Star as Youth Engagement Partner, HiFi Public as the online media partner, Champs 21 as e-Learning Partner, Advance Attire as apparel partner Bangladesh Protidin as the print media partner, News 24 as Media Partner and Radio today as radio partner.
The event had 2 segments, Bangla and English with 10 and 14 teams respectively. The students battled through 4 competitive preliminary rounds and semifinals. On the 1st of December, an intense final took place where Team hulk comprising of Safat Ullah Chowdury, Pallob Poddar, Irfan Al-Goni Zarif emerged as Champions in the Bangla segment while team wolverine comprising of Tarikul Islam Hridoy, Rakibul Islam Hridoy, Prakash Debnath bowed out as Runners Up. The debater of the finals was Safat Ullah Chowdhury. Tarikul Islam Hridoy and Raidul Islam Joy was also the debater of the Tournament for the Bangla segment.
For the English segment Team Wonder Woman comprising of Momotaz Rahman Megha, Nivana Mostafa Kamal and Al Zadid Bin Plabon became the Champions while Team batman, Rebeka Akter, Ayon Deb and Parinda Rahman became the Runners up. Momotaz Rahman Megha was the debater of the finals. Momotaz Rahman Megha was also the debater of the tournament along with Shadman Karim and Aarshe Tashfia in a three-way tie.
This year’s event was launched with the theme of diversity and inclusion in order to promote social acceptance of differences amongst the students. The closing ceremony of the event was graced by the presence of an eminent personality of the debating circuit as the special guest, Dr Abdur Noor Tushar CEO, Nagorik TV. The keynote speaker of the event was Ivan Ahmed Katha President Sachetan Samajseba Hijra Shangho who provided insight to the student on the theme of social inclusion and diversity and the Chief guest of the event was
Mr Benajir Ahmed, Chairman, Board of Trustees. North South University.
From the day I decided to audition for
the debate club, people have been asking me one question in particular. The
question being, “Why?”
For the first few years, while I was still in school, the why was followed by a general curiosity that compared debating with every other extracurricular activity out there. They begged me to give a reason as to why out of a myriad of options I could have opted for to invest my time in and put on my resume, why did I choose Debate.
The curious case of the “Why”
As I grew up and entered university life, the question became more complicated. This “why” was now followed by the need for a justification about my urge to continue a hobby that does not give me any remuneration in the present and will never translate into a career.
“I do it because I love it “
My parents, my friends, my faculties, my superiors, all of them wanted to know why I spend every weekend going to debate tournaments , why I spend my weekdays researching, why I spend my hard-earned money to travel to a distant land just to lose one more time to people who are far better than me at this ECA that will not help me put food on the table.
Contrary to popular belief, debating
does not represent a scenario where you scream and shout at your opponent. It
also is not just an extracurricular activity. It is a way of life. If you start
debating, and if you take it seriously and not just for the certificate, you
will realize how little you really know about the world around you. And how
little you understand the logic behind the actions of individuals.
I enjoy being informed
When you start to debate, you start reading the news. You don’t just stop at one article about how American elections were rigged. You read the follow-up article on the issue. And then you read a follow up on the follow-up article. You might initially start doing this because you want to win debates, but eventually, you come to enjoy it. You will enjoy being informed. You will enjoy when someone will sit across you with all their attention trying to oppose your view of the society. The thrill of the chase for making your opinion stand out from a room full of people eager to express theirs is what will keep you going.
The appeal of awareness
Debating will force you to be aware of issues that you otherwise wouldn’t have cared about. You know global warming is a problem but when you have to win a debate, knowing global warming is a problem isn’t enough. You will have to read up on how governments and corporations around you have been trying to dismiss the idea of global warming. It is at this point when you start questioning your action. Debating will always challenge you to come up with compelling arguments for both sides of the story. And as you try to find a reason to argue for a cause that you detest is when you start to understand the actions of people around you.
I learned how to handle myself better
Debating will not only make you a more informed and responsible individual, but it will also teach you to not crumble under pressure. When you get a topic just 15 minutes before a round starts and you need to come up with an airtight case for or against the topic, you learn to cope up with pressure. And then when you lose even after trying so hard, that’s when debate teaches you to accept failure. And when you decide to take one more chance to show everyone that you are capable of constructively criticizing their opinions, that’s when debate teaches how to succeed despite countless failures.
I made friends
But it is not just the immaterial life
lessons. Debate gives you lifelong friendships too. As you start doing
tournaments nationally and internationally, you will end up meeting people who
will end up becoming your friends for life. But I know that’s not good enough a
reason for you either.
Not just an intellectual facade
So finally, the last myth about
debating, the idea is debate doesn’t help you put food on the table is
absolutely wrong. Debating is valued highly in not just your college or
university applications to get you scholarships but it is weighted heavily on
your resume. Whenever you are applying for any job that requires you to
communicate with clients or stand your ground in negotiations or know your way
around people, having experience in debating is highly appreciated.
Don’t get me wrong, debating is fun for sure. But it is extremely difficult too. It requires dedication, it requires patience, it requires you to make sacrifices that perhaps no other ECA or hobby would force you to make. But then again, debating isn’t like all the other ECAs. Because it is not an ECA. It’s you choosing to be part of a community that will shape you to become responsible, a community that will make you reflect on your actions, a community that will empower you to make brave decisions that others can’t make because they haven’t had to stand in front of an auditorium filled with people and argue about how excruciating child labour is or how important the Sundarbans are for us and no amount of economic incentive can triumph that. It’s a support system that will help you help others.
So, if you want to be heard because you have so much to say, Debating might just be the community for you. Oh, and a pro tip for if and when you do decide to embrace this lifestyle and they ask you “Why?”, I am sure you won’t get a 900 words long article to explain it to them. So, just say what I say-
“I do it because I love it ”
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From November 12-14, 2019, the
Government of Kenya, the Government of Denmark, and UNFPA are convening the
Nairobi Summit, a high-level conference to advance the implementation of the
International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of
Action. The conference will offer an inclusive platform, bringing together
governments, UN agencies, civil society, private sector organisations, women’s
groups and youth networks to discuss and agree on actions to accelerate the
implementation of the ICPD Programme of Action.
On September 6, 2019, UNFPA Bangladesh in collaboration with Bangladesh Debating Council (BDC) and Independent University, Bangladesh Debating club (IUBDC) launched a two-day debate tournament at the premises of Independent University, Bangladesh (IUB).
The tournament was organised with an
objective to engage the youth, where the participants from universities – both
public and private – can engage in an extensive discussion on how the
realisation of the ICPD Agenda is intrinsic to sustainable economic growth for
Their voices echoed through the
debates on a range of topics that are close to UNFPA’s agenda. The ideas and
recommendations of the participants will be presented to the stakeholders of
national and international development to the Summit.
The debate tournament addressed real-world issues and brought out the voice of the youth on problems like disseminating messages on specific ICPD themes: sexual reproductive health and rights, maternal health, prevent violence against women and child marriage. To empower and involve them to disseminate these issue-based messages to their peers and to bring the attention of policymakers about the needs of youth-based SRHR services: prevention of child marriage, maternal mortality and violence against women. To build awareness among adolescents and youth about the opportunities and challenges associated with them.
To mark the Summit, 16 teams from
reputed public and private universities from Dhaka, Rajshahi, Khulna, Sylhet
and Chattogram were invited to participate in this competition, along with 22
most reputed judges in the debate circuit. The teams had four preliminary
rounds of debate that were carried out on September 6. All the teams faced off
against each other where the top four teams at the end of the preliminary
rounds qualified for the finals held on September 7, 2019.
The championship went to Independent University, Bangladesh Debate Club (IUBDC) with the runners-up award going to IBA, University of Dhaka.
The debates were followed by a youth-centric plenary session opened by Dr Asa Torkelsson, Representative of UNFPA whose opening remarks echoed the vision of the UNFPA.
“UNFPA has been working with and for young people since our inception. Our partnerships with young people are, and must always be, based on their active and meaningful participation. In order to achieve the ICPD Agenda from 25 years ago, we need to take account of your experiences, concerns and stories to shape an inclusive future for you, who will also help us achieve the SDGs.”
The speech was followed by a
presentation on the topic by UNFPA Deputy Representative, Eiko Narita.
Following that Sakib Bin Rashid, Instructor at 10 Minute School, Ashreen
Mridha, Bangladesh Women’s National Basketball Team Player, and Umama Zillur,
Founder of Kotha, led an interactive session covering youth leadership, women
empowerment and sexual violence.
“On behalf of the entire English debating community of Bangladesh I am honoured that the UNFPA entrusted us to help crowdsource important ideas to be taken into consideration at Nairobi, this validates that the time the youth spend behind researching and generating discourse on these crucial ideas do indeed matter and has encouraged us all to keep the discourse going so that our ideas and voices can play a role in the ever changing global landscape.”
Said Fardeen Ameen, the Chair of Bangladesh Debating Council