Oxford International College were well represented at the Oxford Union Schools debating championships regional round on Monday night. The delight of being in Oxford is that we did not have to travel far as the round was being held at Magdalen College School – a five-minute walk from College! OIC took three pairs to the competition in what was for many, a first attempt at British Parliamentary-style (BP) debating. For those who have never come across BP debating before, it is a slightly different format competition whereby 4 teams compete in the same debate. It is also unique in the fact that motions are issued only 15-minutes prior to the debate and therefore teams have to work quickly (without electronic resources or adult help) to prepare their cases. In the evening all three pairs had the chance to debate twice and although no individual scores were given oral feedback provided was useful.
The first debate was “This House would Legalize Prostitution” and all teams provided some clear and coherent arguments. I had the pleasure of watching OIC’s second pair (Manveer and Dylan) who gave a very convincing opening government case. The second debate, in theory, is power-matched, which means that teams go up against similar strength teams. It was clear that all three OIC pairs had done relatively well in the first debate as they seemed up against good teams in the second. The second debate was, “This House would ban paid internships”. This highly topical and political issue provided for some robust debate, especially from OIC Pair A (Jason and Nida) who were in the opening opposition position. Sadly, none of the OIC pairs made it to the finals round, but all acquitted themselves extremely well, especially as it was their first time at BP-style debating. They all enjoyed the experience and look forward to doing more short-prep BP debating in the future.