A battle of ideas

A battle of ideas

The tenth edition of ‘Verbattle’ kicked off this week, with schools from all over Karnataka coming together to participate in the much-awaited debate competition. Students from the ages of eight to 24 will be seen taking part in the month-long events. The verbal battle is a way to stimulate the minds of the youngsters and make them think freely. 

 

“The fundamental aim of the event is to facilitate thought and opinion exchange. We want to imbibe values of democracy and civil society in them and make them more tolerant citizens,” said Deepak Thimaya, the founder of Verbattle. The competition is divided into three groups: beginner (grade 5th to 7th), junior (7th to 10th) and senior (PUC to PG). The beginners kicked off the event and didn’t disappoint. 

After two hectic days of selection, three teams were shortlisted for a combat and confrontation round. Two of the teams were from the same school: the Yenepoya School in Mangalore and the other was from Vidya Shilp Academy in Bangalore. 

There were three topics to choose from and Team A (Yenapoya School-Dhruv Kiran Shah and Aarnav), who had the first pick, chose ‘schools don’t know how to educate their kids’. They went ‘for’ the topic and said that students are promoted from 1st to 10th grade with being able to spell and it’s better to learn from parents or be home-schooled. They also said that schools are unsafe and unreliable because 80 per cent of Karnataka doesn’t have CCTVs and most students are on their gadgets most of the time.

Team B (Vidya Shilp Academy-Aditya Saiprasad and Eva Sharma) and Team C (Yenapoya School-Nazan Mohammed and Vishnu Alokkan), said that teachers are the best form of supervisors and schools are the best way to make long-lasting friends. This was followed by a mentor and audience round. 

The next topic that was debated was ‘children should not bother about his or her future’. Team B went ‘for’ the motion and said that bothering about the future too much may destroy chances in the present. They made the distinction between ‘think’ and ‘bother’, which can have negative connotations. But Team A and C said that it is like ‘walking into a dark room and crashing into things’ and you will end up confused. 

Team C went ‘for’ the motion that ‘boys are more emotional than girls’, which was the last topic for the day. While Team A and B ranted about how men are stronger, more courageous, hard workers when compared to women, all Team C could say was ‘even men have emotions’.  Although a close call, it wasn’t a tough competition to judge. The winners of the beginners group were Team A, followed by Team C and B. 

Mary, a teacher from Yenapoya School said, “Winning wasn’t important at all today. It was the process-the kids learnt how to become independent speakers. I hardly had to do any work as a mentor, these kids are so up to date; I just had to guide them.” 

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