Debate Coordinator Bien provides feedback to Hackney debaters
Every year Hackney Community College runs a Student Conference with a wide variety of activities, meetings, and workshops and this year IDEA UK was there. Trainer Bien King and Programmes Manager Alex Helling lead sessions throughout the day. Training on the basics of debate took place in the morning with 8 participants. There were discussions on the consequences of the recent terrorist attack on Westminster; should it be used to justify giving more powers to the police over messaging applications such as whatsapp?
In the afternoon there was a 2 vs 2 debate ‘This House believes Trade is better than Aid’. The proposition, in favour of trade, emphasized the economic benefits that enables trade to grow the economies on both sides through specialisation. The opposition however were having none of this pointing out that the poorest do not have time to specialise, they need the basics to survive; food aid, and then assistance to develop before they can think about lifting all boats with trade. The format gave lots of opportunities for questioning by the other side
IDEA was at the conference because we have been running a debate club on Wednesday afternoons in the College for much of the 2016-17 academic year. The club takes topics of interest to the students and turns them in to debates. We have done topics ranging from big international issues such as ‘can Donald Trump make America great again?’ Through domestic issues like legalizing cannabis to topics of controversy locally such as the need for a pedestrian crossing on one of the streets outside the college.