廢除報告班級職位?

You are representing your school at an inter-school debating competition. The motion is: ‘The policy of reporting students’ class position should be abolished’. Write a debate speech arguing for OR against the motions.

Esteemed adjudicators, ladies and gentlemen,

Good morning. It is an honour to be here to share my view on whether reporting students’ class position should be abolished. Our team strongly agree that schools should put an end to the practice of reporting students’ class position. There are 2 reasons accounting for our stance and I am going to manifest the reasons.

Reporting students’ class position means that students’ marks will be indirectly disclosed to the class, disregarding privacy and personal feelings. Our team believes that under this policy, students’ self-confidence would be eroded. As we all know, teenagers are facing an array of changes in puberty, ranging from getting pimples, having a deeper voice to suffering from mood swings. Facing these kinds of body changes has already led them to having low self-esteem, making them more vulnerable, emotionally fragile and sensitive to others’ comments or criticisms. On this basis, displaying student’s class positions is a slap in the face, particularly to the underachievers. The significant contrast between ranking first and last generates a salient labelling effect on the underperformers. It also adds an ill effect to their initial issues with self-esteem and self-image. They may completely lose motivation to learn and study. Since the policy of showing students’ academic performance takes a heavy toll on students, we strongly agree with today’s motion that this policy should be halted.

Another factor worth-noticing is that this policy would fuel an unscrupulous competitive culture. Undoubtedly, the education system in Hong Kong is academic-based, examination-oriented, and fierce. It is commonplace that schools in Hong Kong devote a huge effort to improving students’ academic results, however, they generally lack a holistic vision of whole-person development. Nurturing students to become all-rounded individuals has long been an aspiration of many parents in Hong Kong as they found that their children are increasingly dependent. Reporting students’ class positions does not help address the loopholes of the current education system. Instead, it reinforces the imbalance in education system and the stereotype of valuing academic performances more than moral, aesthetic and other aspects of development. More importantly, over-emphasis on comparison and competition would interfere with the natural psychological development of students.  It is sensible to deduce that with the class positions unveiled in class, competition among students would become more intense. In order to get high ranking, some students are drawn to be less generous in sharing academic materials with others. Researches have also shown that those who want a high position in class are less willing to share their materials and study skills.

Our honorable opponents may counter our stance, putting forth the idea that this policy could motivate students to work harder in their studies. At first glance, their arguments are reasonable. After more serious inspection, we think their arguments do not hold much water. We admit that some students might be driven to study harder. Nevertheless, under no circumstances should we neglect the importance of the disadvantages that showing students’ class positions brings, particularly the low achievers. The bright side of it is just a drop in the ocean. The changes, be it in personalities, values and friendship, are irreversible and lifelong. School should be a place for students to acquire knowledge and develop positive values but not for competition. Our opponents should have their concepts rectified.

In an attempt to improve children’s attitudes towards learning, we suggest schools organize ‘Study Buddy’ programmes to encourage students to do revision. Under positive peer influence, it is more likely for students to pay more effort in their learning. Revealing class positions creates an unscrupulous competitive environment and does more harm than good. It should not be considered as an option.

All in all, the benefits of today’s motion outweigh the cons. The aforementioned are the prime arguments for the motion. We, as the affirmative, strongly believe that it is necessary to abolish the practice of reporting students’ positions in class. Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby call for your support in the motion that reporting students’ position should be abolished. Thank you.

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