JDC Eloquence 2019: Celebrating the magic of debate

Josephite Debating Club (JDC) hosted their second inter-school debating tournament titled "JDC Eloquence 2019" from March 21-23, 2019 at the St. Joseph Higher Secondary School campus in Asad Gate, Dhaka.

The event aimed to help school students engage more in debating and help them to familiarise themselves with English debating.

Sixty-two teams of three members each took part in this year's tournament who had come from 35 different schools from all over Dhaka. The competition itself took place in two separate categories: Open and Novice. Any member who had participated in less than five debating tournaments were considered for the Novice category while teams with members having debated in five or more tournaments competed in the Open category. The competition allowed students from Classes 3 to 10 to compete for the championship title in each category.

The event kicked off at 4 PM on March 21, with Nazrul Sangeet singer and Ekushey Padak winner Khalid Hossain as chief guest. Other guests included Abdun Noor Tushar, CEO, Nagorik TV; Md. Jehad Uddin, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Finance; Jyoti F. Gomes, Director of St. Joseph International School; and Brother Chandon Benedict Gomes CSC, Vice Principal, St. Joseph International School among others.

The participants went through two rounds of debating on the first day. On the second day, all the teams made it to the premises early in the morning to compete in four more rounds. By the evening of March 22, names of 16 teams in the Open category and 8 teams in the novice category were announced who would go on to compete in the quarter finals.

On March 23, the final day of the tournament, Ramisa Shakira, Inqiyad Patwary and Ajwad Hossain from Mastermind and Gungoon Mathieera, Tawfiqul Wahid and Iftekhar Hossain from the same institution reached the finals in the open category after beating 14 other teams in the quarters and semifinals. Gungoon, Tawfiq and Iftekhar took home the championship trophy with Ejeta Eshrat Baarsa from Maple Leaf International School winning the Best Speaker title in this category.

In the Novice category, Jahin Afsan, Rahib Mabsur Chowdhury and Abid Bin Ahmad from Chittagong Cantonment Public School and Azmayeen Abdullah, Areez Binte Hossain and Tauqir Anwar from Mastermind reached the finals. The team from Mastermind took home the winner's title, while Ahmad Tousif Jami from Dhaka College won the Best Speaker title in this category.

The tournament consisted of 49 senior and ex-debaters who participated in the tournament as adjudicators, with an adjudication core consisting of 10 of the best debaters of Bangladesh. The event also welcomed three internationally renowned debaters: Patrick Cheang, Sher May Nar and Sheikh Rifayet Daiyan Srijon, who had flown to Bangladesh from Malaysia, Singapore and America, respectively, to adjudicate in the tournament.

When asked about the prospects of Bangladeshi debaters in the international school debating circuit, Sher May Nar from National University of Singapore said, "I think what the kids here have is a lot of drive for debating. That is something I believe will give them an edge over other debaters in international tournaments."

Both the champion teams, the best speakers of the tournament as well as the top scoring adjudicators received cash prizes during the tournament. 10 Minute School was the education partner of the event. 


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