Welcome to HKSDPSC.
The Hong Kong Schools Debating and Public Speaking Community is a group of over 40 participating schools and many individuals who share a vision that the spoken word has the power to transform lives and make the world a better place through understanding, tolerance and change for good. Our ethos encompasses not just those students who are destined for Oxbridge but through an ideology of “giving back” to the community, our members help those from less privileged backgrounds on to the pathway of experiencing the power of language, changing lives and enhancing communities.
Formed in April, 2010, as the Hong Kong Schools’ Debating Council by a group of students and educators, its central aim now, under the sustainable HKSDPSC “Community” Limited Company banner, is to help all Hong Kong students develop their skills in debating and public speaking. It is these skills, and the ethos of “give back more than what you take out” that will assist the youth of this city to become more articulate citizens, express their freedom of speech and contribute to a greater sense of domestic and global social justice.
Hong Kong Schools’ Debating and Public Speaking Community Limited received its certificate of incorporation (number 1978518) under the Companies Ordnance of Hong Kong on October 9th 2013. This establishes a huge step forward in becoming a sustainable non-profit charity organization with the stability and legal backing to contribute to Hong Kong society for years and years to come.
Our core activities are debate training for new schools, plus four debating and two public speaking tournaments each year which provide all schools and individuals the opportunity to develop their vocal and logic skills in a community environment. Half the tournaments are for Junior secondary students and half for seniors, thus creating a clear pathway of progress in the 6 or 7 years of secondary education.
In April 2013, a number of HKSDPSC students formed a very valuable and wide reaching organization called “Flashpoint” in with the noble aim of bringing debating to students in Hong Kong who had a desire to learn but not the means and avenues of access to tutoring. To quote their website, this group produced a miracle and “became the first-ever non-profit, student-driven debate training programme in Hong Kong, and undoubtedly one of the largest. With over 400 participants from 25 schools, our 51 high-quality tutors travelled across every corner of Hong Kong to make a difference for our students. The results were astounding. At the culminating tournament, we saw novice debaters handle three rounds of intensive debating in a single day, and a thrilling Finals match which simply demonstrated the enormous progress our students had made.”
This ongoing initiative very much supports the HKSDPSC ethos of “giving back” to the community and helping those from less privileged backgrounds on to the path of experiencing the power of language.
Our debating tournaments are unique events as each is held over a two-day period. A range of human rights and geo-political issues are debated in these tournaments and motions follow the social trends of the day so that students must engage with the world around them and develop a strong “social conscience”.
The first day is a preliminary day with teams contesting 3 debates before lunch with one being impromptu and two prepared debates based on pre-released motions. The teams are then ranked in order and divided into 4 pools: Gold, Silver, Bronze and Crystal. The finals rounds then start with the fourth debate of the day a quarter final, then a semi-final. At day’s end the finalists of each division are determined and invited to return on a “night of nights” grand finals a week later. Thus, 8 teams get to experience a big stage on a prepared motion in a grand final giving students of all levels a chance to shine in public because the Grand Final nights are well attended.
For a report on our latest tournament click here;
The Public Speaking events are held in one day and consist of four disciplines. Students must write and deliver a problem-solution speech, do an impromptu speech, read an extract dynamically from a piece of literature and finally, debate in a two on two format. Students enter as “individuals”, with their scores tallied to determine rank. However, as part of the judging process, the contestants are given pages of feedback so they can work on their skills for the future.
The speech topics and debating motions are always powerful dissertations on the big issues of the day and students must be alert to the challenges and questions of society to ensure maximum engagement. Through this process they develop compassionate insight into the plights of humanity. The readings and impromptu speeches over opportunities for students to express more individualized choices and bring dramatic presentation skills to the fore.
See a typical report on this event here:
Students who seek to represent Hong Kong in international competition are accommodated fully by the HKSDPSC. We are affiliated with both the major schools international Debating and Public Speaking bodies: The World Schools’ Debating Council and the World Individual Debating and Public Speaking group.
The styles and techniques of our tournaments mirror exactly the international events and our students move smoothly from one to the other, ensuring that our events meet international standards. After our first main tournament in each area HKSDPSC forms training squads from which teams are selected to compete for Hong Kong. For the WSDC events we typically have a squad of 12 students who train for 4-5 months before final selection and for the WIDPS team the 12 top ranking students are trained for several months before final selection. In the past five years our teams have debated and engaged in the “Individuals” in Scotland, England, Lithuania, Turkey, Qatar, South Africa, Australia, and Thailand.
We also send teams to international invitational tournaments so that the chance to represent Hong Kong is broadened. We also undertake special events such as the debating challenge made to the Hong Kong Foreign Correspondents Club in 2013 where our alumni took on professional journalist on the motion that “this House believes that Social Media is the biggest challenge facing journalism today”. This event is the first of many to come as HKSDPSC aims to engage more on the community to give our students the opportunity to express their ideas with professionals.
In 2012, the then under-secretary of education, Mr Chen, in recognition of the work done by HKSDPSC in international events, invited a group of students from all over Hong Kong to meet him in his government offices to discuss their futures and the future of HKSDPSC.
The 2011 Hong Kong Teams meeting with Kenneth Chan, Undersecretary for Education in July 2011.
In 2013, we won the bid to host our first major international debating and public speaking event in Hong Kong – the 2015 World Individual Debating and Public Speaking Championships in our home city. This prestigious event will be held over seven days – April 5th to 11th – in 2015. This will bring countries from all over the world to Hong Kong in a festival of words, wit, and wisdom.
We welcome your support in any capacity at any time in the future.
Michael Evershed (Chairman HKSDPSC)
AIS: American International School
CDNIS: Canadian International School
CIS: Chinese International School
CS: California School
DBS: Diocesan Boys’ School
DGS: Diocesan Girls’ School
DC: Discovery College
GHS: Good Hope School
GSIS: German Swiss International School
HKA: Hong Kong Academy
HKIS: Hong Kong International School
HS: Harrow School
HYS: Heep Yunn School
ICS: International Christian School
IS: Island School
ISF: International Schools’ Foundation
KGV: King George V School
LPC: Li Po Chun United World College
LSC: La Salle College
MCS: Maryknoll Convent School
PLKCK: Po Leung Kuk Choi Kau Lau School
PLKNP: Po Leung Kuk Ngan Po Ling College
QC: Queen’s College
QES: Queen Elizabeth School
RC: Raimondi College
RCHK: Renaissance College
SHCC: Sacred Heart Canossian College
SC: Shatin College
SIS: South Island School
SJC: St. Joseph’s College
SLCSS: Shun Lee Catholic Secondary School
SPCC: St. Paul’s Co-educational College
SPC: St Paul’s College
SPCS: St. Paul’s Convent School
SSGC: St. Stephen’s Girls College
SPK: Steward’s Poi Koi School
WIS: West Island School
WYHK: Wah Yan College Hong Kong
WYCK: Wah Yan College Kowloon
YCIS: Yew Chung International School