The National Debate Championship (NDC) took place on May 18, 19 and 20 in Yerevan in the scope of the Youth Engaged in Society 2011-2012 School Debate Club Creation (YES) Project co-funded and implemented by the Jinishian Memorial Foundation, the Open Society Foundations-Armenia and the “Youth For Achievements” Educational NGO.
It is already eight years that NDC has been 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 in the debates during the academic year.
This year the championship was between 22 teams (5-7 members in each team) from 103 project beneficiary schools from Yerevan and RA Marzes. Compiled debate teams from Yerevan, Gyumri, Vanadzor, Armavir, Metsamor, Echmiatsin, Hrazdan, Abovyan, Sevan, Gavar, Ashtarak, Artashat, Masis, Alaverdi towns, as well as from Dalarik, Qarakert, Lernagog, Aqori, Akhtala and Haghpat villages 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 4 civic topics such as “Health and Hygiene Norms are Maintained in RA schools”, “The Education System in RA provides Practical Knowledge”, ''RA Policy Should Be Pro-Russian'' and ''High Schools in RA Serve Their Purpose”. Prior to the competition children had already done preliminary research and preparation about the topics.
The final tournament has been held between two teams from Artashat and Armavir schools on the topic “High schools in RA serve their purpose”. Armavir team was recognized by the judges as the winner of the championship. The third place in the championship hold Yerevan team.
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.
“I wish at your age I could have the possibility to participate in similar activities and gain the skills that you all demonstrated during this championship” said one of the judges of the competition.
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.
For more information please see the Facebook photoalbum of the event.