Nepali team leaves for Indonesia to participate in World Schools Debating Championships 2017

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Kathmandu, July 30, 2017: Nepali national schools debate team is leaving for Bali, Indonesia today for an eleven days’ trip to represent Nepal in the upcoming World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) that begins on 1st August. WSDC is the world’s largest and most prestigious school level debate championship with 52 nations coming together to debate on social, moral and political issues in WSDC style this year.

The national team comprises of four debaters Abhinit Anand, Chandani Thapa, Poonam Regmi and Prabhjeet Singh; team manager/ judge Prasad Gyawali; and team manager/coach Avash Byanjankar. Furthermore, Poshan Khanal is participating as an independent judge from Nepal. Debate Network Nepal (DNN), the national debate organization had announced the team a couple of months ago and since then the members have undergone intense preparatory camps. To facilitate the preparation, DNN had invited Rohan Fahay from Australia; and Shitab Daiyan Akash and Iffat Sumaiya Mehzabeen from Bangladesh.

Nepal made its first appearance in Doha in 2010 followed by Scotland in 2011. Debating movement started becoming more organized from the year 2014 in Nepal. Its third participation in Singapore 2015 Championship saw Nepal’s ranking improve significantly.

The coach of the team, also former national schools debater, Avash Byanjankar, is very impressed with the team’s dedication and believes the debaters are highly committed to the tournament as they’ve been spending more than 8 hours a day working on the tournament for the last couple of weeks. Nepal will take on nations such as former champion Australia, India, Uganda, Israel in the group stage. Four out of eight group stage rounds are prepared rounds and motions shall be regarding banning for-profit universities and colleges, appointing female leaders in religious institutions, mandatory labor union membership and international relations.

The team members were selected through a national team screening that followed 3rd National Schools Debating Championship, MahaKumbha 2016. Debate Network Nepal has been coordinating the process since last year. Unlike many other nations where institutions or governments fund the participation, Nepali delegations still have to fund such participation almost totally on their own due to government’s indifference. However, financial support from WSDC 2017 Organizing Committee, Mega Bank Nepal, St. Xavier’s College, and Kanjirowa National School; and logistical support from Nepal Tourism Board have motivated the team and the debate community of Nepal as a whole.

In World Schools style, three debaters represent each team on stage and each debater delivers an eight minutes long speech. Towards the end of the debate, one among the first two debaters from both sides comes to conclude the hour-long debate with reply speeches. The motion for this year’s finale has been set as “This House supports restrictions on free speech to combat the rise of right-wing populism.”

The team members were selected through a national team screening that followed 3rd National Schools Debating Championship, MahaKumbha 2016. DNN has been coordinating the process since last year.

“The team is also looking forward to a lot of learning and networking from the trip to Bali. Upon returning back, the team shall engage in sharing the learning with the rest of debate community and upcoming aspiring debaters,” DNN informed in a press statement.