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Speak Out - It Matters

NPS K launches rigorous and unconventional school debate competition 'Speak Out - It Matters'

National Public School Koramangala organised the first debate festival, 'Speak Out - It Matters' on Saturday 15 February 2014. After three rounds of highly thought-provoking debates, NPS Rajaji Nagar emerged as the winners.

The festival was inaugurated by Mentor NPS Schools Mrs Lakshmi Rao and the Principal Mrs Sudha Balan. The debaters argued over whether Population is a bane for India or if Social Networking is destroying the Social Fabric. The sessions had the students debating whether 'Man not Machines should explore space' and if 'Free speech is not an Absolute Right'. The insightful and thought - provoking input by the judges and participants was challenging and lively.

The objective of this festival was to create a platform that offers the youngsters a chance to voice their opinions, gain exposure about sensitive and burning issues across the world and come up with possible solutions. It aims to be less formal than the traditional debating competitions, with a strong emphasis on students researching their arguments well.

The debates were judged by eminent journalists, Environmentalists, Scientists and subject experts who probed the participants with questions that tested their research and ability to convince with substance. The questions asked by Mr Jayant Murty, Professor-Indian Institute of Astro Physics who judged a session on 'Man not Machines should Explore Space' encouraged the speakers to research more and gain more insight on space programmes and take it up as a career. Principal Mrs Sudha Balan felt that this format of the debate and the topics gave a lot of scope to research, thinking and responding in a capsule which made it challenging. The teachers felt that the focus of the debate made the students think beyond the text books. The participants felt that they learnt how to research and also respect an opponent's opinion.

The most important thing that sets this style of debate apart is that it allows you to question ideas. The prepared speeches make up a small fraction of the actual debates, after which the speaker is left to be grilled not only by the opposition but the judges and the audience. They're asked to fend for their ideas, beliefs, statements, and the way they think and reason is challenged and questioned.

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