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The Competition began 17 years ago when a small group of Native English-speaking Teachers (NETs) introduced competitive debating in secondary schools as a way to develop local students’ language skills.The Native English-speaking Teachers’ Asosciation (NESTA) organised the competition for many years, during which, many organisations contributed to its development through sponsorship. Priority was given to making debating accessible to lower banded students. Smaller Divisions at different year levels for CMI and EMI schools were introduced to better match students with similar abilities. A Primary Competition was introduced in 2010.In 2016, the Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) took on the Competition, preserving the legacy handed down by teachers working together for the benefit of Hong Kong students.
Debating is an essential tool to maintain many of our democratic values:
- Freedom of Expression
- The right to be heard
- Decision based on evidence
- Accountability and transparency
Competition Debating is a popular and exciting learning activity in Hong Kong schools. It combines a surprising number of skills such as research, brainstorming, organisation, teamwork, delivery and logic.
Debating and Language Learning
Debating provides a purposeful context in which language and cognitive skills can be extended.Debating has become more and more popular in Hong Kong schools over recent years. Nowadays it is a formal part of the school curriculum.In the past, debating mostly catered for top schools and Senior Students. Our Competition is split into age and language ability divisions to make debating accessible to a wide range of students. Our main concerned is with the process, constructive feedback and endowing students with useful life skills.
A Social Experience
While debating is an adversarial encounter, it is also a friendly encounter and a great opportunity to meet and learn together with students from other schools. For this reason, we begin with two practice matches in most of our Divisions.
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