IUB Ascension 2019
A revolution in Bangladesh Debating29 December 2019
Now, Ascension is the biggest debate tournament in the whole of South Asia with maximum numbers of international participation. A huge contingent of debaters participate in Ascension from all parts of the country as well as from many reputed international
It was back in 2016 when Independent University, Bangladesh Debate Club (IUBDC) was given the responsibility to organize a competition for school students. IUB Management wished to create a platform for students where they can share their ideas and engage with each other in discussions on important topics. Their prime goal for this competition was to ensure that students learn and participate in something beyond the traditional education system. Hence, Ascension was born. From conception till the present time, this priority has remained unchanged, to create a platform for students to enhance their critical thinking and communication skills.
After the overwhelming success of Ascension 2016, Ascension 2017 represented a turning point for debating in Bangladesh. Starting from just a national school tournament, until becoming the first ever debate tournament of the country to have international participation which became the key reason behind, IUB getting recognized in the international debating community. In Ascension 2017 debaters from around the world came to know that there is a university in Bangladesh where a passionate group of people are trying to break the geographical barriers to reach the world of international debating.
In 2018, the dream grew bigger and so did the expectations and responsibilities. By this time, IUBDC was already well known for its amazing hospitality and organizing the best debate tournament in the country. But more success was yet to come. IUBDC sent its first team to United Asian Debating Championship (UADC) at Bangdung in 2018. It was an honour to become the champion of Asia in the very first attempt.
Now, Ascension is the biggest debate tournament in the whole of South Asia with maximum numbers of international participation. A huge contingent of debaters participate in Ascension from all parts of the country as well as from many reputed international institutions. World renowned debate personalities attend Ascension which significantly adds to the value of the tournament and ensures an enriched debating experience for the participants. They not only ensure a fair judgement of the debate but also provide invaluable debate lessons to the participants. Participating in Ascension is an opportunity for national debaters to gain knowledge they do not get anywhere else.
This year, Ascension has seen a record-breaking number of participating teams. There were more than 120 teams from various institutions, national and international. The Adjudication Core of Ascension 2019 was the best adjudicators who represent in the worlds debating. The adjudication core panel of Ascension 2019 was Jason Xiao from University of Oxford, Sara Rahim from International Islamic University Malaysia, Mubarrat Wassey from International Islamic University Malaysia, Lucia Arce from University of Cambridge, Jessica Musulin from Australia National University and Taosif Amin Khan, Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University. This was something the Bangladesh debating circuit has been dreaming for decades and that dream is finally turned to reality.
After three days of exciting debate with incredible motions and enthusiastic participation of all the teams the results were also very interesting. There were three breaking categories High School, Novice and Open. All the teams participated in 6 preliminary rounds and after knock-out rounds in the quarter finals and Octo finals, 8 teams from each category respectively, a total of 24 teams qualified to the semi-finals to debate for the championship titles.
Academia School comprising of Mahatir Mahammud and Manal Binte Iqbal Khan became the champion of High School category. SFX Green herald comprising Aonkita Dey Reeshi Bhattacharjee became the runners up.
The other finalist teams in the respective category include Manarat Dhaka International School and College comprising Seeam Marjan Hossain and Md. Hasibul Kadir. Rajuk Uttara Model School & College comprising Unayza Anika and Senin Chowdhury.
Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University team 4 comprising Aymanul Islam Cyfer and Syed Shadab Tajwar titled was Novice Champion while Islamic University of Technology comprising Zahin Raidah and Taukir Azam Chowdhury were runners up. The other two finalist teams were Government Science College comprising Marjukhar Rabib and Asraful Alam Pranto. Jahangirnagar University comprising umaiya Tasnova and Rokeya Asha.
Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University team 1 comprising Sajid Asbat Khandaker and Sourodip Paul was crowned as the Champion of Ascension 2019 in the open category defeating two other teams of the same institution and Oxford University comprising Kit Mercer Rachel O' Nunain were the runners up of Ascension 2019. The other two finalist teams in open category were, Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University comprising Kazi Ashfaqul Huq and Wasif Amin Khan. Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University comprising Rifayat Zafeer Wafee and Shamsul Nawed Nafees.
Top speakers were awarded depending on their points during the preliminary rounds. Inqiyad Patwary from Mastermind Dhanmondi became the best speaker in High School Category. Rohit Midha from team Igniting Mind India, became the best novice speaker. Sajid Asbat Khandaker from Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University became the best open speaker.
Also, the speakers of the final round were awarded for their highest scores. Mahathir Mahammud from Academia School was titled as the best speaker of the final in High School Category. Aymanul Islam from Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University became best novice speaker of the final. Sajid Asbat Khandaker from Institute of Business Administration, Dhaka University became the best open speaker of the finals.
During the closing ceremony honourable guests representing IUB Management were present to grace the event, Vice Chancellor (acting) Milan Pagon, Former Chairperson BOT Rashed Chowdhury, Registrar brig general (retd) MD Anwarul Islam, Member of the Board of Trustee Lutfe M Ayub, Former Vice Chairman, ESTCDT, Dr Syed Serajul Huq, Member of the Board Of Trustee, Salma Karim handed over the award to champions and runners of IUB Ascension 2019. Along with them Ashraful Amin, Director, Council Affairs, Lima Choudhury, Deputy Director and Head, Admissions and Financial Aid, Priyanka Dey Assistant Director, Admissions and Financial Aid, and Faculty Advisor of IUBDC Towhid Bin Muzaffar were constantly there to monitor the event. The closing ceremony was co-hosted by Club Advisor of IUBDC and Chair of Bangladesh Debating Council Fardeen Ameen and Executive Board Member of IUBDC Archi Ananya. The entire event was looked over by the President of IUBDC and Tournament Director of Ascension 2019, Ridoan AZM.
In Ascension 2019, it was more than debating. There were ancillary segments with art exhibition and poetry competition. The opening ceremony was a breath-taking one with spellbound performance of 100 Musicians Orchestra and dance performances. The closing ceremony kept every participant engaged with amazing performance of the circus police and Nemesis. There were fire spinning show and the entire IUB campus was decorated with mind-blowing décor. In addition, there was delicious food, transportation and accommodation for the participants so that they can comfortably concentrate on debate and get a memorable experience from Ascension 2019.
(Jannatun Nur Sadiyat, School of Business, Independent University, Bangladesh, Email: Sadiyat.firstname.lastname@example.org)