About 200 young people from 10 Asian countries are arriving in Pattaya for the Asian Karl Popper Debate Championship 2012 in what is said to be a major effort in speeding up the development of debate education in the Asian community.
This is the first time IDEA is holding the event at Asian level after 17 years of hosting international youth forums.
This tournament will see the participation of about 90 teenage debaters of which about 60 are from countries that have only recently started developing debate communities or which are in the process of doing so.
“The strong participation from these countries shows the realization that debate and discussion among young people, at different levels in society, is to strengthen analytical, problem-solving and decision-making skills as well as promote mutual understanding and democracy,” says IDEA Asia Youth Forum Director Chirada Na Suwan.
These countries include Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia, Nepal, China, Mongolia, Pakistan and Palestine. The countries with active debate communities include Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and South Korea.
About 100 young judges and coaches will also be participating in the Asian KPDC 2012, where both the young debaters, and judges and coaches will be able to increase their debate skills, to compete against and learn from trainers and participants from different debate backgrounds and countries.
“This a unique opportunity to learn more about the Karl Popper format and debating in general and to get to know other debate-minded people from all over the world,” says Na Suwan.
The Asian KPDC 2012 is held in partnership with United Thailand at the Thammasat Pattaya Center in Chon Buri and Rangsit University in Bangkok. United Thailand represents all sectors of Thai society and this includes public, private and educational sectors.
There will be 25 teams of three speakers who are primarily between the ages of 14 and 19 who are or have been high school students or members of educational institutions or communities.
The Asian KPDC 2012, from May 14 to 18, is first part of the two-week long IDEA Asia Youth Forum 2012. The forum also includes a four-day educational workshop and Mixed Team Tournament.
The International Debate Education Association or IDEA is a global network with over a decade of experience of teaching debate to young people.
The theme for the Asian KPDC 2012 is Crossing Borders: Migration in Asia.
Speakers include scholars and practitioners from Unesco, International Labour Organisation, United Nations High Commission for Refugees Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Anthropology Centre, Thammasat University, Seameo Regional Centre for Higher Education and Development and the Coastal Cities at Risk research team.