Published: 13th December 2019
Debate and conquer: Why every high schooler needs to be at TFI's Halla Bol 5.0
This will be the fifth edition of this parliamentary-style debate which will be held in Hyderabad. The finals are expected to take place in March 2020
Critical thinking, confidence and public speaking — these are just a few of the skills that debate competitions help nurture. And Teach For India (TFI) is planning to sharpen all these skills and many others through their debate competition Halla Bol 5.0 in Hyderabad. Training for the competition's fifth edition is on in full swing, informs the Project Lead of Halla Bol, Amrita Dutta. It is up to the first-year fellows of the two-year Teach For India fellowship to see this competition through.
Ongoing competition | (Pic: Amrita Dutta)
In the zone
The city has been divided into three clusters for the debate — Old City, Secunderabad and Banjara Hills. All Teach For India schools in the city will participate in the competition. Those who win at the cluster-level will go on to compete in the semi-finals and the finals will follow. They are following the Asian Parliamentary Debate format, wherein, a team of three students each will debate for or against the topic given. They will play the role of Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Whip. "This ensures that each speaker is given an equal chance and offers a distinctive perspective to the topic," says Amrita, an alumna of Christ University, Bengaluru.
"Our endeavour with Halla Bol has been to make debate a part of classroom culture," says the youngster who joined TFI in April this year. The classes themselves have been divided into three categories. Students from class IV and V will debate on ethics and moral-based topics while students from class VIII and IX will debate on current affairs. Classes VI and VII will also be participating in the event. "This ensures that even that shy yet smart kid in the class gets his say on the topic," she informs. This year, what's different is that student mentors from class X will be the driving force behind training the participants. The student mentors are being trained too so that they can do their job more effectively, we are told.
Enthusiastic students | (Pic: Amrita Dutta)
For the grand finale, the team intends to organise it in a grander place, perhaps a function hall. "We just want students to get used to the idea of public speaking and expressing their views," she says. She also tells us that the fellows will have an Impact Analysis Report for every child and will rate the pre and post-debate skills of the students.
They are raising funds through a campaign on Milaap. Check it out milaap.org/fundraisers/