What is Schools Debating?
The West of Ireland Schools Programme is ran by the Literary and Debating Society’s Schools Convenor to promote and facilitate debating among secondary students across Connacht.
The Schools Convenor does this each year by hosting two competitions. The better known of these is the “West of Ireland Schools Debating Competition”, held in the ‘Irish Times’ style. This competition is held throughout the school year, typically beginning in November and running until March, when a prestigious Grand Final is held. The winning team and individual of the competition then progress to the national schools competition to compete against the winners from the Leinster and Munster competitions.
The second competition held each year is “Talk it Up”, a one day competition held before Christmas in the Mace style. In 2015, Talk it Up became the biggest schools mace competition ever held in Connacht, with over 100 students competing.
Debating teaches you not only how to speak publicly, something which terrifies a large proportion of the population, but how to formulate an argument, but helps you learn about political, social and international issues from across the world. Debating helps develop the skills to create logical, articulate and meaningful arguments, so that no one can ever tell you that you’re wrong again. All of these factors culminate into helping to develop self-confidence and to assist in critical thinking, skills invaluable in later life.
“I have never let my schooling interfere with my education”