All HKSDPSC programmes in the first term of school year 2015-2016 are effectively concluded. Here is an overview of the HKSDPSC programme for the second term. Please find below:

  1. Expected Forthcoming Tournament Dates
  2. New Initiatives
  3. Governing Council Personnel

Tournament Dates

NOTE: These details are still being finalised, and will hopefully be confirmed in mid-December. This is only a tentative set of dates.

20th February 2016: International Competition for Young Debaters 2016 – Hong Kong Regional Round (In collaboration with Oxford Union, University of Oxford)
5th and 19th March 2016: 12th Senior Debating Tournament
16th and 30th April 2016: Inaugural Evershed Cup (In collaboration with HKSSDC and HKIDO)
23rd April 2016: 3rd Junior Public Speaking Championship (Persuasive Speaking, Interpretive Reading and Impromptu Speaking)
7th and 21st May 2016: 13th Junior Debating Tournament

New HKSDPSC Initiatives in School Year 2015-2016

A. Teacher Development Programme
The HKSDPSC Governing Council recognizes the imminent needs to groom coaches and debate teachers in the Hong Kong circuit. As of now, only a small cluster of schools are lucky enough to employ former debaters who now become teachers and serve as their school coaches, or have the necessary resources to engage the service of experienced coaches. Even fewer schools have coaches who have had extensive experiences of coaching and judging debates at the international level. To enhance the overall standard of debating in Hong Kong, there is an imperative to systematically groom coaches and debate teachers who could make the difference at the classroom level. HKSDPSC recognizes that teachers are the change-agents who know best on how to navigate in the unique school settings that they are in. At the same time, HKSDPSC believes that the ability to coach and run debating programmes is a specialist skill that would empower teachers and add value to their credentials. Hence this long-term commitment of teacher/coach development.

Participants are expected to meet every 4-6 weeks for intensive training on case drills, video analyses and knowledge enrichment. The goal of this initiative is to build up a pipeline of dedicated teachers/coaches who will eventually take up leadership positions in HKSDPSC. Also, HKSDPSC sees the needs to increase the diversity of schools represented in the GC, so as to honor our mission and vision as an inclusive charitable organization. The details of the teacher development programme will be disseminated after the Christmas break. This programme will be run by senior councilors and alums of HKSDPSC.

B. Open House / Debriefing Sessions for Students on WSDC Motions
Invaluable feedback has been given by teachers, coaches, alums and parents on the motions that our motions committee has set for the past two tournaments. The tournament organizing committee understands that running complex motions without proper debriefing and follow-up teaching could be counter-intuitive. As such, open house sessions will be held in the second term to teach students how to analyse burdens, delineate spectrum, assess problem-solution models, extend principles, engage arguments and flip analyses from the opposing team. We understand it would be impossible to provide detailed coaching on all 16 motions that we have covered so far, but certain debate mechanics that are transferable and applicable in most debates could be taught in these open house sessions.

While the motions committee has devised quality motions to prevent teams from winning debates using simple assertions, more work definitely has to be done to teach students how to pin down the nuance and complexity of WSDC motions. Again, details of the programme will be announced to the whole community after the Christmas break.

C. Adjudicators’ Training
To prepare teachers/coaches/alums for next academic year’s tournaments (8-10 preliminary rounds plus 3-4 break rounds), there is a need to train up judges who could serve as chairs in judging panels. While our students work hard to prepare their cases, the least we as teachers/coaches could do is to provide them useful feedback and give them pointers as to how to improve. HKSDPSC believes that being a better judge would make one a better coach. All of us have encountered sub-standard judges and understood how frustrating it is to lose a debate for obscure reasons. It is not enough to just make the right call. To help students improve, it is important to give clear, proper reasons for decision and be able to how to walk them through the debate.

This programme will be run by Ms. Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed, Director of WSDC Limited, Chief Adjudicator of WSDC 2014 Thailand, Grand-Finalist of WSDC and Former Coach of WSDC Team Pakistan.

Personnel Change in the HKSDPSC Governing Council

An extraordinary GC meeting was held on 10th November 2015, Tuesday. Our Founding Chairman, Mr. Michael Evershed, has officially retired from his position. He will take up the position as the Permanent Honorary Chairman of HKSDPSC. To recognize his unparalleled contributions and years of service to the debating community in Hong Kong, an annual competition titled ‘Evershed Cup’ will be incorporated into our yearly programme.

The election of the new chairman also took place. Mr. Cheng Kwok Hung was elected as the incoming Chairman of the HKSDPSC Governing Council. Mr. Steven Lee and Mr. Paul Lau would also join the GC as incoming councilors.

The 11-member GC is now composed of:

  1. Mr. Cheng Kwok Hung (Diocesan Girls’ School)
  2. Ms. Lauren Butchart (Independent – Company Secretary/Legal Advisor)
  3. Mr. Eric Ho (Independent – Treasurer)
  4. Ms. Krytyna Butchart (German Swiss International School)
  5. Mrs. Shobha Sanker (Renaissance College)
  6. Ms. Mehvesh Mumtaz Ahmed (Independent)
  7. Mr. Alex Melcalfe (South Island School)
  8. Mr. Emmanuel Reed (West Island School)
  9. Mr. Steven Lee (Heep Yunn School)
  10. Mr. Greg Forse (Independent)
  11. Mr. Paul Lau (Independent)

All GC members have equal voting rights and cheque-signing power. They are the registered directors in the incorporated charity ‘Hong Kong Schools’ Debating and Public Speaking Community Limited’ under Hong Kong Laws (IRD File No: 91/13179).