On December 18, 2023, Knps Phagwara
Kamla Nehru Public School – India played host to the Jalandhar District Sahodaya Inter School English Debate Competition on the theme “No To Hate Speech,” with participants exploring the topic: “Is hate speech a manifestation of free expression and a barrier to achieving Sustainable Development Goal 16 for promoting peace, justice, and strong institutions?”
I was invited by the dynamic Paramjeet Kaur Dhillon
, the school’s leader and one of the principals I had studied under as a student, to be a judge for the event along with Mr. Kapil C Aggarwal, and Ms. Poonam, teachers at Lovely Professional University
A total of 60 students from 30 #jalandharsahodayaschools
actively engaged in the debate (Welcome to one of the smaller districts of India!). It was a marathon of speeches for 4.5 hours to be adjudged. Even though I was under the weather and had to pop a crocin in the middle of it all, it was all worth it!
Ms. Dhillon shared that the school has initiated the International Collaborative Project “RiseUp4Peace,” and this debate was an integral part of the initiative. The event not only showcased the students’ debating skills but also contributed to the broader goal of fostering a culture of peace, justice, and strong institutions through constructive dialogue.
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