In February 2012, me, along with A Level 2nd year students took the initiative and organized the first St. Michael’s Debate Championship (SMDC), a parliamentary debate championship, based on the Asians format. The event was a great start; 16 teams from prestigious institutions across Karachi participated. The three day journey was an amazing one, it was a great moment for all of the organizers. This great start had to continue and I was tasked with the responsibility to ensure the continuance of the event: a great responsibility, indeed!
The year 2013 had a great start! Before the close of 2012, I had gathered together our team of directors, and divided the responsibilities and tasks to go about and organize the event again in 2013. I became the Chief Director, along with Bilal, Shahrukh became the Director of Volunteers, Mashaal and Uzain, Directors of Logistics, and Usman Farooq became the Director of Volunteers. We decided to host the event in early 2012; the dates were fixed to 11th 12th and 13th of January 2013. The registrations were opened in December 2012, and the deadline was set to be the new year’s eve. We overlooked the fact that schools were closed for the winter vacations, and had to give an extension for the registrations.
Eventually, a greater than the previous year number of teams registered for the event, and we geared ourselves for the time of our lives!
Day 1: Friday, 11th January 2013
The event started according to schedule; on time.To start this grand event, we had organized an awesome opening ceremony: one that began with the National Anthem of Pakistan, and the School Song of St. Michael’s Convent School. This was followed by the recitation from the Holy Qur’an by Ayesha Khan and the Holy Bible by Malachi Bhatti. Proceeding on, the Principal, Mr. Peter Misquita gave a short speech, followed by a speech by the Deputy Principal Mrs. Seema Naiyer and then my short speech, in which I wished the competing teams the best of luck. This was followed by the Principal declaring the event open, and the first motion being announced. That day saw two rounds of debating. The motions that day were: “This house believes that Turkish soaps should be banned”, and “This house will enforce a uniform educational system”. I was also one of the adjudicators for these rounds.
Day 2: Saturday 12th January 2013
The second day started a little late than planed due to the judges amending the schedule at the end of Day 1. The motions for the day were: “This house will levy fines proportional to wealth”, and “This house believes that totalitarian governments are better than democratic governments” (Initially we trolled the participants with the topic: “This house believes that Colgate Miswak should be a toothbrush”, and it worked really well, ALL the participants were trolled!) At the end of Day 2, the for qualifying teams for the Semi Finals in order of their rankings were:
City School A
While the debates were going on, our volunteers made the certificates for the participants and themselves.
Day 3: Sunday 13th January 2013
The last day of the fabulous event started well on time, though there was a strike in the city. The motion for the Semi Finals was, “This house would legalize performance enhancing drugs in sports”. The team match ups were: Lyceum A vs. Lyceum B and Lyceum C vs. City School A. We had a panel 5 for the second debate; and I was on it as well. At the end of the round, Lyceum A won the debate debate against Lyceum B, and Lyceum C won against City School A on a decision of 3-2.
After the debate, we had a lunch break. After that we announced the motion for the finals, “This house would grant the status of a political party to Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan”; this topic was a really opposition heavy topic, since Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan is waging war against the Pakistan Army in Pakistan, and its Afghan counterpart has been fighting the U.S. Army in Afghanistan; the organization is a notorious, banned, terrorist organization, and granting it the status of a political party is more like supporting their activities. Anyways after the interesting final round of debate, and against all odds team proposition (Lyceum A) lifted the Champion’s trophy and Lyceum B became the Runners Up, and Shazminay Durrani of Lyceum B was awarded the best speaker.
The over all experience was a great one! Organizing SMDC was a mammoth task, but we did it, and not just did it, we did it in the best manner possible!