Kathmandu, December 7, 2016: MahaKumbha 2016, the third iteration of Annual National Schools Debating Championship for high school students, concluded on 5 December with Team WSDC, Team St. Xaviers â€˜Khaâ€™ and Team Delta winning the first prizes for English Open, Nepali Open and English Novice categories respectively. They beat Team Slay, Team Abhyudaya and Team Xavier Academy ‘B’ in the respective finals to lift the championsâ€™ trophies.
Simran Thapa from Rato Bangala School and Asmita Nepal from St Xaviers College grabbed the best speaker for English and Nepali categories respectively while Yajyoo Shrestha won the best judge award.
A total of 27 English and Nepali teams comprising of three to five debaters each had participated in the competition, including a couple of teams from outside the valley.
Top English best speakers selected from the championship shall be shortlisted to form a national debate team that will represent Nepal in World Schools Debate Championship (WSDC) 2017 to be held in Bali, Indonesia, in August, 2017, said the organizer Debate Network Nepal, in a statement.
Health Minister Gagan Thapa, the chief guest for the grand finale and awards ceremony, addressed the debate community and shared from his experience ways to excel as a debater.
Sharing her experiences, Ojaswi Joshi from Nepalgunj, whose novice team lost all six group stage debates, said, â€œThough the journey to Kathmandu was tiring and we couldnâ€™t gather any wins, this tournament helped me learn a lot about debating, and I was also able to meet many intellects whom I can now call my sources of inspiration.â€ Shristi Shrestha, a Teach for Nepal fellow working in a community school in Sindhupalchowk, expressed her happiness as she picked the third best speaker (Nepali) award on behalf of her student Prajit Giri.
The five-day-long tournament was held at Kingâ€™s College, Kathmandu, by Debate Network Nepal–Nepalâ€™s national debate organization that works to institutionalize debating in Nepal–in partnership with Kingâ€™s College and in collaboration with Teach for Nepal, Open Space Nepal, Leadership Corner, Youth Initiative, VPAN, Glocal Khabar, Amax, NTV, KGH Group, Eagle Vision IT and Budanilkantha Municipality.