Learning English through Debating

You are representing your school at an inter-school debating competition. The motion is: ‘The policy of reporting students’ class position should be abolished.’ Write a debate speech arguing for OR against the motion.

Teachers, Judges and Fellow Schoolmates,

Good morning, today’s motion is “The policy of reporting students’ class position should be abolished.” We, the affirmative side, strongly support the motion.

Before I commence with my arguments for the motion, the opposition side argues that the policy brings the reality of competition in the real world to schools in advance and encourages students to strive for themselves at an earlier stage. To a certain extent, this argument might be true; however, the policy also leads to many detrimental effects to which we should not turn a blind eye.

First of all, the policy kills the motivation of learning and the interest in learning. Examination is only a means to test our knowledge and learn from mistakes. The result can somehow reflect our strength and weakness in different subjects so that we will know which potential to develop. It defeats the purpose of examination when students are only supposed to get high marks in every subject but not to find out their own interests and endowments. Moreover, the policy differentiates students based on their grades and ranks and divides them into high-achieving and low-achieving students. This division has a labelling effect that stigmatizes students by putting them into categories. Low-achieving students will then lose motivation and interest in learning because they always stay at the bottom of the ranks.  It is at odds with the principle of education.

The policy encourages competitive atmosphere in the learning environment. Under the culture which emphasizes “winning at the starting line” and awards those who win first and early, parents will push their children to excel in the examination and enroll them in many tutorial classes. Likewise, students will compare their results with others in order to beat their peers and not to lose out. Comparison adds so much pressure and burden to their studies. Consequently, many students who are under tremendous pressure break down and result in mental problems such as depression, anxiety or phobia. The policy does more harm than good to the students.  

Under the policy, learning becomes exam-oriented and grade-oriented. Parents and students will focus only on academic results and overlook other areas of achievement. Students are drilled to excel only in the examination and thus neglect other areas of development such as social skill, communication skill or collaboration skill. As a result, students become monotonous and fail to appreciate other qualities such as social and emotional intelligence. They fail to discover and develop their potential to the fullest. 

As the policy poses a hindrance to the execution of an all-rounded education, I appeal to you to support today’s motion. Thank you.

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