Rebuttals give school the edge
Islamic Kasim Tuet Memorial College defeated Yu Chun Keung Memorial College No 2 in the second round of the 11th Nesta-SCMP Inter-School Debating competition. The winner took the negative side of the motion: 'Hong Kong is protecting children's rights.'
The debate took place at Islamic Kasim Tuet on Monday.
The contest, jointly organised by the Native English Speaking Teachers' Association and the South China Morning Post, is sponsored by the Hong Kong Jockey Club.
The adjudicators were Margaret Wong, English panel of Islamic Kasim Tuet, and Graham Young, native English teacher at Yu Chun Keung.
Young praised the home team's strong rebuttals and presentation skills. 'They showed a lot of passion in their speeches. They spoke forcefully and made good use of gestures. Their rebuttals were very strong and incorporated very well with their speeches. Debating is won by rebuttal so I decided to give them the edge.'
However, he reminded Islamic Kasim Tuet students about the importance of time management in debating.
'Their first speaker, Ghufrana Yasmeen, had too many points to present and had marks deducted for going over the time limit,' Young said.
'I also felt that the speakers were speaking a little too quickly because they tried to cover as many points as possible which made it a little hard to follow. I suggest they speak at a slower pace and with some pauses.'
Wong was impressed with the research of both teams. 'All debaters had done thorough research on the topic and were able to make good use of data to strengthen their case. The rebuttals [from both sides] were brilliant.'
Both teams argued fiercely whether the government is doing enough to help children lead a quality life. The focal point of the debate was the financial support provided by the government.
To prove their case, the affirmative side pointed out various laws protecting children and the different kinds of subsidies offered by the government.
On the other hand, their rivals highlighted the serious problem of child poverty in Hong Kong.
The third speaker from Islamic Kasim Tuet, Bibi Tayyaba, said: 'There are many loopholes in the government's policy to subsidise children. Applications for travelling and stationery subsidies take a long time and are not able to provide assistance to families in need.'