This weekend was a true first-time experience for me. Of course, there have been many of these based on our living situation and being a teacher for the first time.But Saturday, for the first time in my life I adopted the role of being a real-life debate coach. I took a group of high school debaters to a tournament, judged other schools, was part of many a decision-making process, fraternized with police officers, and made professional connections. Two years ago I thought my debate career was finished, and now it seems to have only just begun.
The style of debating for high schools in Rwanda is called Karl Popper method, fundamentally the same as Parlimentary or LD (more different from CX) but procedurally quite different. The teams are three members each, and usually schools bring teams and compete against one another. For this specific tournament held by the Rwanda National Police, it was decided that each school should bring a set number of debaters, and then each school\’s debaters would all be mixed together and would debate with each other. So it was not possible for one school’s team to win the entire tournament. Instead, individual speakers were selected as outstanding and received a cash prize (surprisingly).
There were 24 speakers total. 8 of them were selected as outstanding, one from each team of three (see, the math works). Of the 8 selected, two were from our school. For that I’m very glad, and we only brought four debaters total (three in the middle of the picture, and one on the far left), so for half of our team to be publicly recognized is a superb start to what I think will be a thriving debate team here at KICS.
I think the National Police have scheduled another tournament in May, but so far there are no details. If that one doesn’t pan out, we’ll definitely host our own tournament which will give me yet another notch in the belt of adulthood – planning, managing, and executing an entire debate tournament. The possibilities are endless….