Wednesday, August 12, 2009

World Schools Workshop Concludes in Vermont

All smiles before a lecture
Group session in the Huber House debate chamber
Top speaker Namarik from Kuwait
Snider, Skrt, Newman and Morgan

The 2009 World Schools Debating Workshop concluded at the University of Vermont with a flurry of debating and a deep sense of satisfaction.

"This was the single most amazing group we have had since we started in 1984," said WDI director Alfred Snider, "they were incredibly focused, they had a huge hunger for new information and knowledge and they were extremely cooperative." He had a glint in his eye when he added, "Plus they were all early to every session ... something you don't often see among high school students. They are a very special bunch of people."

Students came from the USA but also from Canada, Korea, Greece and Kuwait.

Here are the motions that were debated during the last week of the workshop:
• This house believes the government should never rescue failing private industry.
• This house would give the Kurds a homeland.
• This house believes that nuclear energy does more harm than good.
• This House would use military force where necessary to deliver emergency aid.
• This House would ban the broadcast of recordings produced by terrorists.
• This House would make Jerusalem a UN administered teritory.
• This House would take a hard line on Iran regarding their recent elections.
• This House would lower the voting age to 16.
• This House believes that using less energy should be the number one energy priority.

The tournament involved five rounds and then awards were given on that basis. Members of the community, the university and parents came to watch the debates. In the final results, the top speaker was Namarik Al-Enizy of Kuwait. The top team consisted of Namarik, Milan Bien-Aime and Macey Miller.

The faculty, consisting of Bojana Skrt of Slovenia, Rhydian Morgan of the UK, Debbie Newman of the UK and Alfred Snider of the USA, declared that they were incredibly impressed by the students and their pace of learning. Director Bojana Skrt said, "The kids were great, they learned a lot, they improved tremendously and they were the most punctual ever. At the end of the workshop everyone committed themselves to continue their debating careers."

There are five world titles amongst the faculty as trainers.

"The world schools debating format is an excellent one," said Snider, "and it needs to be expanded in domestic competition in many countries. It has the best of several different formats."
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]