Shimla: Fifteen top schools from India and one from Dubai meet here to trash out debating points, starting Wednesday, at the Slater international inter-school debates hosted by Bishop Cotton School.
The schools participating are Frank Anthony Public School, Delhi, La Martiniere Girls School, Kolkata, Dubai Modern High School, La Martiniere Boys, Kolkata, La Martiniere Girls, Lucknow, Pine Grove School, Dharampur, Modern High School, Kolkata, St. James School, Kolkata, The Assam Valley School, Assam, The Doon School, Dehradun, The Lawrence School, Sanawar, The Vasant Valley School, New Delhi, La Martiniere College for Boys, Lucknow, Auckland House Girls, Shimla and The Sri Ram School, Gurgaon. The lone international school participating in the debate is the Dubai Modern High School.
Based on the Cambridge debate pattern, with three speakers for and three speakers against speaking on a topic as many as 19 topics ranging from abstract to topical would be debated upon over four days by the participants.
Held in honour of the first headmaster of BCS, the Reverend Dr. Samuel Slater Memorial Invitational Inter-school English Debates have acquire a reputation of being amongst the best debating platform for school children since 1996 when top schools began to be invited for it.
Some of the topics slated to be debated upon this time are Using torture to obtain information should be banned, Socialism is dead, Bribery is an accepted norm in contemporary society, Corporal punishment should be reintroduced in school, Indian democracy is nothing but a game of numbers, There are no bad children only bad parents, The media offers a biased outlook on events, A presidential form of government would be better than the current parliament system, Advertising creates artificial needs, New technologies add little to the quality of education and The united nation organization is a toothless lion.
Winners of the last three consecutive debates, La Mariniere Boys’ School, Kolkata have in 17 years been on top in five years (1999, 2002, 2010, 2011 and 2012), the Doon School Dehra Dun have won on three occasions (1996, 1997 and 2007), Mayo College for Girls, Ajmer (2001 and 2009), La Martiniere Girls School, Kolkata (2004 and 2006) and Bishop Cotton School, Shimla (1998 and 2005) have won it on two occasions each and St James School, Kolkata (2000), The Cathedral & John Connon School, Mumbai (2003) and The Rashtriya Indian Military College, Dehra Dun (2008) one time each.
Among those who have witnessed and judged these debates include the former BBC India correspondent Mark Tully and late Mrs Amita Malik, the famous media critic.