Team Bangladesh at World Schools Debating Championship | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 25, 2015 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, June 25, 2015

Team Bangladesh at World Schools Debating Championship

Bangladesh's reputation has been growing exponentially in the debating world. Just a few weeks ago, Wasifa Noshin from IBA-DU was ranked the 3rd Best Speaker in the United Asian Debating Championships 2015, Indonesia. And just last year, Summerfield International School reached the semi-finals of Asian Schools Debating Championship. They were coached by Taosif Amin Khan, also from IBA-DU. There is something Taosif and Wasifa have in common. They both come from a culture of school debating that has grown and flourished in the country over the past decade. They were both part of the Bangladeshi National Team that participated in WSDC in yesteryears.

This year again, the trend continues. Sheikh Rifayet Daiyan Srijon from St. Joseph Higher Secondary School, Asif Mehedi Adi from European School, Nawed Nafees from Summerfield International School, Wasif Khan from Academia and Kazi Ashfaqul Haque from Maple Leaf International School will be hoisting the flag at WSDC 2015 in Singapore. The team is coached by Taosif Amin Khan and all organisational works are led by Fardeen Ameen and Aaqib Farhan. 

The team has been selected through a process overseen by Bangladesh Debating Council. The journey starts with the pre-WSDC Debating Championships each year. Last year, it was at Viqarunnisa School and College in October. From there, the top 30 school level debaters of the country were selected to attend the National Debate Camp which BDC organised in early 2015. Through various stages of selection, and through gruelling training by other WSDC Team alumni, the 5 were chosen to represent our country.

World Schools Debating Championships is the school debate equivalent of the FIFA World Cup. Nearly 50 countries will be sending their school level national teams to participate in what will be a celebration of logic and engagement among the brightest young minds of the world. 

There was a time when Bangladeshi teams struggled to establish themselves on the world stage. It was this struggle that encouraged a group of debaters to establish Bangladesh Debating Council in 2006. That started a new debating culture in Bangladesh and we are getting the fruits of that labour now. Bangladeshi teams constantly reach the latter stages of World University Debating Championship as well as other international tournaments. In the Asian debating circuit, names like Bangladesh's Wasifa Noshin, Taosif Amin Khan, Aaqib Farhan Hossain, Saad Ashraf, Ratib Ali are regarded with reverence. Wasifa Noshin herself will be a part of the adjudication core of Australasian Women's Debating Championship 2016 to be hosted by Griffiths University. Rishad Sharif of University of Dhaka will be a part of the adjudication core of United Asian Debating Championships 2016 in Thailand.

This is especially commendable considering that most of the Bangladeshi debaters don't have the financial support that other countries give their debaters. This is unfortunate since other young high achievers, say young scientists, inventors and such who represent our country do get a fair bit of financial support either from the private sector or other organisations. With how the debaters are proudly waving our flag on the international stages, it's high time there was more support for them. Debate is the intellectual's sport. And growth in debate shows the intellectual growth of the country's new generation.

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