The National Debate Championship (NDC) took place on May 1,2 and 3 in Yerevan in the scope of the Youth Engaged in Society 2013-2014 School Debate Club Creation (YES) Project co-funded and implemented by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the Open Society Foundations-Armenia and the World Vision Armenia.
It is already ten years that NDC is being organized at the end of each academic year and it turns out to be a real celebration for all directly and indirectly involved in the project: debate club members, their mentors, parents, teachers, judges of debates and project implementers. The NDC is a reflection of the techniques, knowledge and skills children gain from the practice debates during the academic year.
This year the championship was between 28 teams (5-7 members in each team) from 120 project beneficiary schools from Yerevan and RA regions. Compiled debate teams from Vanadzor, Gyumri, Echmiadzin, Metsamor, Armavir, Abovyan, Hrazdan, Sevan, Gavar, Artashat, Masis, Ashtarak, Vardenis, Talin, Aparan and Yerevan cities as well as from Dalarik, Qarakert, Lernagog, Aqori, Akhtala, Chochkan, Haghpat, Shenavan, Shinuhayr, Sarnakunk, Brnakot, Arteni, Nerkin Bazmaberd, Mastara, Mets Masrik, Gyulagarak, Sverdlov and Urut rural communities arrived in Yerevan and competed in the championship. At all participant schools debate clubs have been created and the children went through intra and inter school stages since the beginning of the academic year.
During the first two days of the competition the participants debated on the civic topics such as “RA state policy does not foster the formation and the sustainability of young families”, “The activities of NGOs and social initiatives have an impact on state decision in RA”, “The existence of the RA Ministry of Diaspora is justified”. Prior to the competition children had already done preliminary research and preparation about the topics.
The final tournament has been held between Vanadzor 1 and Vanadzor 3 teams on the topic “RA state policy does not foster the formation and the sustainability of young families” Vanadzor 3 team was became the winner of the championship.
At the end of the event participants of the NDC received medals, gifts and certificates of honor from the project implementing organizations.
Experts from different local and international organizations were invited to judge the debates during the YES NDC. During their speeches the judges highly prioritized and appreciated the implementation of the project which provides school age children an opportunity to express their viewpoint on various crucial issues and support their ideas with evidence and argumentation fostering civil society and active engagement of youth in society.
The YES NDC is the most festive, important and at the same time conclusive event of the project and it is a wonderful opportunity for the school students to meet their peers from the other schools and to spend few days as members of one big family called YES project.