Ethos, Work and History

Welcome to HKSDPSC.

GENESIS

The Hong Kong Schools Debating and Public Speaking Community is a group of over 40 participating schools and many individuals who share a vision that the spoken word has the power to transform lives and make the world a better place through understanding, tolerance and change for good. Our ethos encompasses not just those students who are destined for Oxbridge but through an ideology of “giving back” to the community, our members help those from less privileged backgrounds on to the pathway of experiencing the power of language, changing lives and enhancing communities.

Formed in April, 2010, as the Hong Kong Schools’ Debating Council by a group of students and educators, its central aim now, under the sustainable HKSDPSC “Community” Limited Company banner, a regsitered charity in Hong Kong,  is to help all our students develop their skills in debating and public speaking. It is these skills, and the ethos of “give back more than what you take out” that will assist the youth of this city to become more articulate citizens, express their freedom of speech and contribute to a greater sense of domestic and global social justice.

CHARITY STATUS

Hong Kong Schools’ Debating and Public Speaking Community Limited received its certificate of incorporation (number 1978518) under the Companies Ordnance of Hong Kong on October 9th 2013. This established us as a sustainable non-profit charity organization with the stability and legal backing to contribute to Hong Kong society for years and years to come.

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Our core activities are debate training for new schools, plus four debating and two public speaking tournaments each year which provide all schools and individuals the opportunity to develop their vocal and logic skills in a community environment. Half the tournaments are for Junior secondary students and half for seniors, thus creating a clear pathway of progress in the 6 or 7 years of secondary education.

In April 2013, a number of HKSDPSC students formed a very valuable and wide reaching organization called “Flashpoint” in with the noble aim of bringing debating to students in Hong Kong who had a desire to learn but not the means and avenues of access to tutoring. To quote their website, this group produced a miracle and “became the first-ever non-profit, student-driven debate training programme in Hong Kong, and undoubtedly one of the largest. With over 400 participants from 25 schools, our 51 high-quality tutors travelled across every corner of Hong Kong to make a difference for our students. The results were astounding. At the culminating tournament, we saw novice debaters handle three rounds of intensive debating in a single day, and a thrilling Finals match which simply demonstrated the enormous progress our students had made.”

This ongoing initiative very much supports the HKSDPSC ethos of “giving back” to the community and helping those from less privileged backgrounds on to the path of experiencing the power of language.

In the 2017/2018 School year , Flashpoint will transform into a new and different outreach programme to target specific schools needing assistance with their debating culture.

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DEBATING TOURNAMENTS

Our debating tournaments are unique events as each is held over a two to three day period. A range of human rights and geo-political issues are debated in these tournaments and motions follow the social trends of the day so that students must engage with the world around them and develop a strong “social conscience”.

HoEDT Team
Typically WSDC and BP style debating events see the first day as a preliminary day with teams contesting 4 debates with two being impromptu and two prepared debates based on pre-released motions for WSDC style and 4 impromptus for BP style. The teams are then ranked in order and the top 8 teams go forward to contest quarter and semi finals to determine two grand finalists.  The top two  return on a “night of nights” grand final a week later. In the coming year these will be showcase events.

PUBLIC SPEAKING EVENTS

The Public Speaking events are held in one day and consist of four disciplines. Students must write and deliver a problem-solution speech, do an impromptu speech, read an extract dynamically from a piece of literature and finally, debate in a two on two format. Students enter as “individuals”, with their scores tallied to determine rank. However, as part of the judging process, the contestants are given pages of feedback so they can work on their skills for the future.

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The speech topics and debating motions are always powerful dissertations on the big issues of the day and students must be alert to the challenges and questions of society to ensure maximum engagement. Through this process they develop compassionate insight into the plights of humanity. The readings and impromptu speeches are opportunities for students to express more individualized choices and bring dramatic presentation skills to the fore.

INTERNATIONAL TEAMS

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Students who seek to represent Hong Kong in international competition are accommodated fully by the HKSDPSC. We are affiliated with both the major schools international Debating and Public Speaking bodies: The World Schools’ Debating Council and the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking group.

WSDC 2010

WSDC 2010
The styles and techniques of our tournaments mirror exactly the international events and our students move smoothly from one to the other, ensuring that our events meet international standards. After our first main tournament in each area HKSDPSC forms training squads from which teams are selected to compete for Hong Kong. For the WSDC events we typically have Dvelopment and Senior quads of up to 12 students who train for 4-5 months before final selection and for the WIDPS team the top ranking students are trained for several months and the number making the HK team depends on hosting number allocation. Typically it has been around 10 students. In the past  years our teams have debated and engaged in the “Individuals” in Scotland, England, Lithuania, Turkey, Qatar, South Africa, Australia, Germany, Singapore, USA and Thailand.

The HK WIDPSC 2010 Team

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We also send teams to international invitational tournaments so that the chance to represent Hong Kong is broadened.

FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS CHALLENGE CUP

We also undertake special events such as the debating challenges made to the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club in 2013 and 2014 where our alumni and Hong Kong Team members took on professional journalists on the motion that “this House believes that Social Media is the biggest challenge facing journalism today” (2013) and “THBT Occupy Centarl is the best way for Hong Kong to achieve democracy” (2014).

GOVERNMENT RECOGNITION

In 2012, the then under-secretary of education, Mr Chen, in recognition of the work done by HKSDPSC in international events, invited a group of students from all over Hong Kong to meet him in his government offices to discuss their futures and the future of HKSDPSC.

THE 2011 HONG KONG TEAMS MEETING WITH KENNETH CHEN THE UNDERSECRETARY FOR EDUCATION JULY 6 2011                        The 2011 Hong Kong Teams meeting with Kenneth Chan, Undersecretary for Education in July 2011.

WORLD EVENT IN HK

In 2013, we won the bid to host our first major international debating and public speaking event in Hong Kong – the 2015 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in our home city. This prestigious event was be held over seven days – April 5th to 11th – in 2015. This brought countries from all over the world to Hong Kong in a festival of words, wit, and wisdom.

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We welcome your support in any capacity at any time in the future.

Yours faithfully
Michael Evershed (Founding Chairman HKSDPSC)

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Participating Schools

AIS: American International School
BPS: Belilios Public School
CDNIS: Canadian International School
CIS: Chinese International School
CS: California School
CSS: Carmel Secondary School
DBS: Diocesan Boys’ School
DGS: Diocesan Girls’ School
DC: Discovery College
GHS: Good Hope School
GSIS: German Swiss International School
HKA: Hong Kong Academy
HKWMA: HKWMA Chu Shek Lun Secondary School
HKIS: Hong Kong International School
HTC: Holy Trinity College
HS: Harrow School
HYS: Heep Yunn School
ICS: International Christian School
IS: Island School
ISF: International Schools’ Foundation
KC: King’s College
KGV: King George V School
LPC: Li Po Chun United World College
LSC: La Salle College

WIDPSC 2011 Ad 1

MCS: Maryknoll Convent School
MSS: Marymount Secondary School
PLKCK: Po Leung Kuk Choi Kau Lau School
PLKCLSCMC: Po Leung Kuk Centenary Li Shiu Chung Memorial College
PLKNP: Po Leung Kuk Ngan Po Ling College
PLHK: Pentecostal Lam Hon Kwong School
PLKL: Po Leung Kuk Laws Foundation College
QC: Queen’s College
QES: Queen Elizabeth School
RC: Raimondi College
RCHK: Renaissance College
SHCC: Sacred Heart Canossian College
SC: Shatin College
SIS: South Island School
SFX: St. Francis Xavier College
SJC: St. Joseph’s College
SLCSS: Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School
SPCC: St. Paul’s Co-educational College
SPC: St Paul’s College
SPCS: St. Paul’s Convent School
SSGC: St. Stephen’s Girls College
SPK: Steward’s Poi Koi School
TLMSHK: True Light Middle School of Hong Kong
WIS: West Island School
WYHK: Wah Yan College Hong Kong
WYCK: Wah Yan College Kowloon
YCIS: Yew Chung International School

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