Debate tournament at Scholastica
'This house would abolish zoos'. Yes we too thought this was a joke. But it actually turned out to be the motion for the fifth and last preliminary round of Scholastica's first Interschool Debate Tournament, organized by the Scholastica Debate Club (SDC), to commemorate International Mother Language Day.
Intensely heated debates marked the onset of the tournament with 38 teams from 17 English medium schools, battling it up in front of a panel of judges.
Once all the debaters and adjudicators had arrived, the tournament was inaugurated by its Convener, Adiba Naoshin Orni, a student of class XII. Most part of the first day was spent making last minute preparations-putting up banners, setting up rooms, guiding volunteers; the list goes on. Soon tabs were released and the day came to an end with the end of the last debate.
The second day began on a crisp Friday morning, with the debaters and adjudicators coming in, eagerly looking forward to facing the onslaught of debates throughout the day. Tabs were released, ensuing in heated verbal battles that continued in different rooms all day. The debaters fought on through the next four preliminary rounds, with much needed miniscule breaks between them. And amidst the whirlwind of motions and debates, the little jokes here and there proved quite a feat to laugh at.
Fire and Ice Break-Night Programme
After four rounds of debates, it was with a lot more than just wide open arms that the participants welcomed the much awaited Fire and Ice Break-Night Programme, held in the STM Hall. One which was illuminated with artificial flaming torches (there goes the fire!). This programme was meant to congratulate the winning teams that 'broke' through to the quarterfinals. It had musical performances by the students of the host school namely Openfly and guest performances by My Thirty-First Demerit and Heal.
Then came the Ice. For the first time in the entire history of debate tournaments, the eight 'breaking' teams celebrated their victory by literally breaking large blocks of ice with a hammer! Even though it had raised a few eyebrows when we first came up with the idea, participants were enthralled to be a part of this dramatic celebration of their success.
All clad in formal black and white, the third day started off with the teams launching directly into the quarterfinal round. Motions became more difficult and equally eccentric when Aga Khan School,
Scholastica, Mastermind and Academia made it to the semifinals. After putting up an immensely tough fight, Aga Khan and Academia went through to the finals, Scholastica and Mastermind being left behind by a very narrow margin. The final round began with the motion: 'This House would give Iran veto power in the UN Security Council' and Academia secured the title of the Champions of the Tournament. Md. Taosif Amin Khan from the winning team was awarded 'The Best Speaker of the Final Round'. The Top-Ten speakers of the tournament were awarded medals. Syed Muqsit Razee from Manarat was given 'The Best Speaker of the Tournament' award.
The event was concluded by an Award Giving Ceremony followed by a Cultural Programme to commemorate International Mother Language Day. Madiha Murshed, the Deputy Managing Director and Head of Academics of Scholastica, was the Chief Guest of the tournament.
Souls behind the Scene
It might sound a little partial, but yours truly being an organizer of the event has felt to the core, the labor in paying attention to every minute detail starting from registration to banners, ensuring safe water supply to floor-managing. To say that it was merely difficult pacing the entire school, catering to the needs of our precious debaters and adjudicators, would be a huge understatement. Calling it 'a Herculean task' would only sound extremely clichéd. So, putting it in very simple words, it was the organizers' and volunteers' consistent hard work and dedication which made the event not only possible but also a huge success. It would be absolute injustice to let their silent efforts and growling stomachs go unheard. Last but by no means the least, hats-off to Rishad Sharif, the Chief Adjudicator of the tournament, Tanvir Hafiz and Ipshit Tarafder, the Deputy Chief Adjudicators and all the Tab Directors. The tournament would not have been as enjoyable and interesting without their eccentric motions and presumably funny jokes.
(Writer is a student of Scholastica)