Pinegrove School Bilingual Turncoat Debate Pathways World School, Gurgaon
It has rightly been said by Joseph Joubert, "It is better to debate a question without settling it than to settle a question without debating it".
This quote came alive on 30th and 31st August as three students from Grade 8, Unnathi Kumar, Mauraya Sharma, and Tarana Tewari, accompanied by their teacher escort, Ms. Jeannine Rose Callwood, took part in the Bilingual Turncoat Debate held at the Pinegrove School, Solan.
As the students made their way to the School, their exhilaration was ubiquitous as their sleepless night of excitement stimulated them, awaiting their chance to put in over two weeks of efforts into practice. After arriving at the host School, the students checked into their accommodations, before gorging on a salubrious lunch, after which they were given a warm welcome by the School's Headmaster.
This was the first time the students had the ability to fathom the gravity of the competition with more than forty students from approximately 20 Schools from India participating.
During the Opening Ceremony, the first draw of lots for the Preliminary Round took place.
The Speakers had previously been divided into two pools: Pool A and Pool B and the two Speakers from each School would have to speak on different motions. The motion for Pool A was, "Perseverance is more important than talent for success", whereas for Pool B, it was, "Behind 'Rising India', lies the loss of national dignity".
The debate was not only a conduit through which the students put their public speaking skills, to the test, but was a commingled opportunity, wherein they could explore the debating arena in both the lingua francas of India (English and Hindi).
The delegates spoke in their Pools, with the employment of both languages on both sides of the motion. This metamorphosed into a splendid learning opportunity as well, because the delegation, speakers and researcher alike, could decipher the chinks in their armour, with reference to the performance of the other participants. The students put their best foot forward in the morning and later spent the afternoon traversing through the local markets, coercing them to ponder over the vast difference between their metropolitan areas and the mountainous villages.
In the evening, the Judging Committee announced the shortlisted sixteen students, who would be moving to the Final Round, competing for victory. Mauraya Sharma, one of the speakers, made the School proud by qualifying as one of the youngest finalists! At this point, drawing of lots took place again, as the researcher penned down two speeches, for the motion in English and against the motion in Hindi, for the finalist, on the topic, "Industrial Revolution has led to an irreversible collapse of the human race".
On the final day, Mauraya stood as the sole representative of the Pathways World School on the stage and made the school proud with their performance. The School Director, Dr. Sarvesh Naidu had previously advised the team, "Winning the trophy is not as important as winning the hearts of the judges" and the delegation followed his advise. All-in-all, through this Competition, the students grasped the essence of debating in both languages and look forward to sharing their learning experiences with their peers at Pathways.