Debate in Afghanistan

  • Sale!

    Advanced debate strategies

    19,99 15,99
    Add to cart
  • How to use the preparation time

    19,99
    Add to cart

In our country there are different types of debate followed by different non-profit organizations as well as governmental and non-governmental universities, basically organizations and universities follow debates such as; BP Debate, Asian Debate, Parliamentary Debate and University type debate but more commonly BP debate is followed by most, specifically in the competitions between the universities and schools they follow BP Debate and this happens every month, every three months, every six months and once in year as well, by this we mean that different organizations form BP Debate according to their culture, roles and procedures which varies in timing and scope as well.

Overall we can say that debate in Afghanistan is practiced by each individual but in their own way, like among two person can be debate when they argue about any kind of topics and debate among families among friends, and even among the drivers we see debate but definitely in their own format, so we can specify that almost 40 to 60 percent of people in Afghanistan are used to debate daily in different issues raises, but off course when we talk about the BP Debate it is only followed and covered by the students of the schools as well as universities in high level.

If I speak about the size of debate in our country that how big it is and how many provinces are familiar with debate and how much population of Afghanistan is used to do BP Debate and know about it, it would be a tough and complicated question but still I can go close to the reality based on the experience that I have and my physical existence that I am practically involved in this debate since three years now and have been doing chairing the competitions since one year, around 6 provinces of Afghanistan are familiar with the BP Debate and around 100 universities of these provinces are having debate clubs and have active and expert debaters who are leading their clubs and practice sessions and hiring new members and introducing them to the competitions and coaching them from A to Z.

First of all debate is a formal, oral confrontation between two individuals, teams, or groups who present arguments to support opposing sides of a question, generally according to a set form or procedure.

The most widely used format at the university level is Parliamentary Debate, although certain regions of the world have their own, slightly different version of it.

We are going to learn about British Parliamentary Debate Format:

BP debate is a different structure from rest of the debate formats, it describes as below:

The Motion

There would be a motion for every debate, where the discussion starts from. Some motions are much clear and some motions are very complicated, those which has clear arguments are quite debatable for and against it. The motion always starts with the term “This House…” which is an accepted term and by “The House” we mean all the people present in the debate session. Positions will be allocated to different teams and each team will be either opposing or proposing, they will either speak first or last on their side and no team has to contradict on their side, but you have to compete with the confront side.

Teams

Each session of debate will be followed by four teams, in each team there will be two members. Definitely there will be two teams on each side of the debate session, where one side is known as government and other side is known as opposition. In the government side we have opening government and closing government and same as the case we have opening opposition and closing opposition in the opposition side.

Main Roles of the Eight Speakers

Opening Government Team:

1. Prime Minister (First speaker of the government)

  • First thing the prime minister has to do is to define the motion and each terms very clearly if it seems very complicated and unclear
  • Then he or she has to sit the motion in such a way to not let the opposition side speak widely but his/her side should be given the opportunity to speak in its favor properly.
  • Pre Plan for the case that which partner should present which arguments so that they should not repeat the same arguments presented by the first speaker in the team.
  • Further explain his own arguments, with presenting the facts and bringing practical examples.
    4. End up by briefing and concluding the important points of his speech.

2. Deputy Prime Minister (Second speaker of the Government)

  • Repeat the important points of his/her teammate very briefly with bringing an extension examples to make them clear from a different angle.
  • Once supporting is done then he/she has to start rebut of the opposition leader’s response which was in regards to the speech of his/her partner.
  • After that he/she has to rebut the main arguments of the leader of opposition.
  • Further explain his own arguments, with presenting the facts and bringing practical examples.
  • Finish with a summary of the whole team case.

Opening Opposition Team

3. Leader of Opposition (First speaker of the Opposition)

  • As a leader of opposition your first job is to redefine the motion if you think the motion is not clearly defined or you think the definition doesn’t makes any link to the motion. But sometimes it can create problem for us, so we have to be very careful when we do such and only should be done when the definition is not debatable, otherwise if the definition is quite good and have lots of things for debate then try not to redefine the motion but at least you can complain on it so that you can get some credits from the adjudicators.
  • Pre Plan for the case that which partner should present which arguments so that they should not repeat the same arguments presented by the first speaker in the team.
  • You can further explain your arguments with the facts and accurate practical examples, furthermore you can claim on the policy and bring an alternative proposal for it which can be better than the policy set by the government side. It is mostly depend on the situation of the debate and can only be covered when you have more experience of debate.

4. Deputy Leader of Opposition (2nd speaker of the Opposition)

  • This speaker will start with rebutting the first and second speaker of the proposition team and has to prove and support his/her rebut with strong case and should practically defend with examples.
  • After rebut he/she has to support his/her teammate with giving further information from different perspectives and should offer some more arguments to support your partner’s approach to the motion.
  • Conclude the case for your team, including your own and your partner’s speech and briefly present your whole speech in the last one minute.

Closing Government Team

5. Member of the Government: (3rd speaker of the Government)

Member of the government will do couple of things as followings:

  • The first thing he/she has to rebut the opening oppositions and support his/her side with bringing new points and explaining from a different dimensions.
  • 1. Bring Extension Arguments and analyze the debate from different angle and take it into a new area (i.e. “so far our side has discussed about developed countries but now our team would talk about developing countries and their benefits for the developing world)
  • 2. Here you have to bring new extension arguments which will be in the same line with the previous arguments presented by the opening government by should not be the same as they expressed it. You can define the motion or present your arguments from different perspectives like if they explained from social point then you can explain from economical and political view and benefits. Again, this decision depends on the scenario. Although it is very tough and complicated part of the debate still it is very important to add something new to the debate, or you will be penalized.

6. Government Whip: (4th Speaker of the Government)

  • The last speech of a debate is known as a Summary Speech which we conclude the whole debate and speech of both sides. Here you should look at the whole debate and explain why on all the areas you have argued your side has won.
  • 1. The conclusion should be according to the chronological order.
  • 2. You have to define and specify the clash points for both sides and go one by one to either sides for explanations with further and thorough details for each to differentiate.
  • 3. Go through the debate according to the main points of contention; this shows that you have to explain and make it clear that why your team has to win and what is your differentiation and bitterness to win this debate. This is a very useful and accepted standard to convince both sides and th judge as well.

Closing Opposition Team

7. Member of the Opposition: (3rd Speaker of the Opposition)

  • This team does the same what the closing government team does but with different arguments and ideas.
  • 1. Rebut the 3rd speaker of the government’s arguments and concisely analyze the speeches of the opening sides.
  • 2. Bring Extension Arguments and analyze the debate from different angle and take it into a new area (i.e. “so far our side has discussed about developed countries but now our team would talk about developing countries and their benefits for the developing world)
  • 2. Here you have to bring new extension arguments which will be in the same line with the previous arguments presented by the opening opposition but should not be the same as they expressed it. You can define the motion or present your arguments from different perspectives like if they explained from social point then you can explain from economical and political view and benefits. Again, this decision depends on the scenario. Although it is very tough and complicated part of the debate but still it is very important to add something new to the debate or you will be penalized.

8. Opposition Whip: ( 4th Speaker of The Opposition)

  • Opposition Whip has the same responsibility as the government whip, but as I already mentioned before that he/she has to specify clash points for both sides without bringing any new arguments in the debate. He has to define the clash points one by one for both sides and should support with the accurate facts and proper examples to prove them.

The Order of Speeches

Each speaker speaks for 5 or 7 minutes, and there will be one time speaking for each so there will be 8 speeches in each debate. The order of speeches is as follows:

  • The first speaker is the Prime Minister from the Government side
  • The second speaker is the Leader of Oppositions from the Opposition Side
  • The third speaker of the house is the deputy PM from the Government side
  • The fourth speaker of the house is the deputy leader of Opposition from Opposition
  • The fifth speaker of the house is the government member from the government side
  • The sixth speaker of the house is the opposition member from the opposition side
  • The 7th speaker of the house is the government whip from the government side
  • The 8th speaker of the house is the opposition whip from the opposition side
  • Speeches last for 5 minutes. Time signals will be given to indicate when 1 minute, 4 minutes and 5 minutes have elapsed.

Points of Information

  • POI would be taken after the first minute and before the last minute because the first and last minute of each speech is known as restricted time, during which no points of information (POI) may be asked to the speaker who is making their speech.
  • So POI would be offered and taken between 1:00 and 04:00 minutes.
  • A point of information is a formalized interruption from any speaker on the opposite side of the table to the speaker who has the floor. It may last up to 15 seconds. It is asked in the form of a comment to the speaker who has the floor.
  • Speaker who has the floor has the full authority to decide which points of information to take and which to reject. Each speaker should accept 1 point of information, but they can accept more if they think they have enough time to explain all their points. To offer a point of information, a speaker should stand and say “point of information”, “sir” or “madam” or may say POI sir or they can only raise their hand without saying anything. If the point of information offered is refused, the speaker who offered it should sit down immediately or should sit down after 10 to 15 seconds.

Dealing with Points of Information

  • If you think the POI is not important, then get rid of it and continue with your speech
  • Take POI and answer with full details to convince the judge with proper examples.
  • Or take the POI and say that you will come to its answer later on in your speech and carry on where you were. If you do this, then you have to make it totally clear.
  • When you postpone the point to be discussed later on, then you can have the option to say that due to lack of time my colleagues will answer your POI.

Before the debate

  • There will be a specific motion for each round of the debate, and the motion will be announced for them approximately 15 minutes before the session start.
  • Preparation would be team wise, and each team will get preparation alone in this 15 minutes, and each team will discuss with each other alone without asking any other third person.
  • No team is allowed to use electronic devices for their preparation, but they can only use their phones for stopwatches and electronic dictionaries.
  • Each team should be present in their correct rooms and be ready for the debate once their 15 minutes time is elapsed.

After the debate

  • There will be minimum one and maximum 3 adjudicators in each debate sessions for the first 3 rounds, but in semi and final rounds the debates will be judged by 5 adjudicators. They will rank the teams from 1st to 4th, and the results will be announced after the first three rounds for those who qualify and those who didn’t qualify for the semi-final rounds. While teams also receive speaker marks, these are not released until the conclusion of the tournament. The semi-final round result will be announced immediately after it is completed and those who qualify for final round will be given chance to debate in the hall in the presence of more audience and special guests.
  • In some competitions according to the rules and procedures one round before the semi-final would always be silent round where results are not announced to the debaters and the respected teams.

Debate competitions

As mentioned above that mostly there will be two types of competitions in BP, one is among the universities of the same city, and one is among the whole cities which will be named as National debate competition.

In this national debate competition there would be debaters from all around the country and will debate five rounds to qualify for the final, normally In national debate competitions there will be two final rounds for two different groups, one is known as seniors and the other one is known as juniors but the common thing is that they all will debate mix till semifinal round, but in semifinal they will be recognized as different group members.

Apart from the national debate competitions, there are debate competitions quarterly or monthly between the universities of the same city, where two or three teams would be introduced by their respectful debate club and finally the competition will be held among 24 or 36 teams.

Normally such type of debates take minimum one day and maximum two days to finish whereas national debate competition takes minimum 3 days to close the debate and complete the final round.

I am not sure if our debaters have participated in WUDC or WSDC since I have entered debate society, but if before that anyone has attended and participated in those events then that might be close to the fact, but yea I have heard the time I entered the debate society that some of the debaters have attended debate in hongkong and across the country, but more importantly why they are not attending outside the country or in WUDC or WSDC debate competitions, It has a specific reasons and that could be nothing else but the lack of financial resources and lack of mutual agreement, because if both parties had mutual agreement in advance then they could work on any debate competitions to exchange the delegates freely.

As far as the achievements are concerned, I have heard from others that the debaters who have participated in the foreign competitions some of them have gotten the best speaker awards and finalist awards as well, BP Debate is more commonly followed by the universities but apart from the universities there are some other non-profit organizations as well which are following the debate competitions locally as well as in national level. These organizations are recruiting new debaters each three months from all over the country and then arrange them debate trainings in basic and advanced level. Rarely trainers are hired for temporary base but most commonly debate clubs have presidents in terms of coaches who lead the practice sessions as well as the entire activities of the mentioned clubs.

Non-profit organizations that are following BP Debate activities and competitions are being funded by different sponsors (embassies, World Bank, UN Agencies, international donors and etc) but it is not same for all debate clubs which are led by universities, no one give them fund and there is no required facilities of debate for the debaters, so overall I could say that there is very less amount of funds for the debate provided by the donors, that is why Debate is not improving properly in our society as it is needed to be and also there is no opportunities to attend and participate in the international debate competitions on behalf of the country Afghanistan.

Motions are mostly three types in our society that we follow, they are included but not limited to: fact motions, comparison motions and policy motions, These are further divided to different sub title and specific motions which are known as; political, economical, social, technological, ethical and environmental motions, in which debaters are arguing and discussing with their logical arguments and practical examples.

These topics are not merely related to local issues and concern but it also contains the region as well as the international issues world is facing with, so it means that we discuss the world economic, security, social and humanitarian issues as well.

As per my experience that I have from foreign debate, and as per the fact that I have attended an international debate across the country, I would like to mention that debate in the international level is quite competitive and challengeable, that need to be fully prepared and be update with the latest information for the roles and procedures as well as method of the debate and global issues.

So my wish is to get access in the international debate in the other countries, through which we can send our debaters to speak to argue and to debate with the world debaters and exchange their thoughts, knowledge, skills, abilities and cultures with other youths of the world in order to spread and stable the peace and security all around the world.

In conclusion I would like to say that debate is now part of each youths life in our country and they are willingly debate with themselves through different types of debate formats, but most commonly they are following the BP Debate and it has been improved from past 6 years very rapidly and it is still in progress, and what really need from the international debate is to have an authentic link source who can give us further updates about the all types of debate but more specifically for BP Debate which we mostly follow here in our practice as well as competitions.

This is a guest article by: Wais Formuli, the Debate Society Adjudicator and Training coach
0/5 (0 Reviews)

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.