Should a female employee pay less income tax? Should the law condemn celebrities committing crimes more severely? Should we or do we have to treat talented students in a distinctive way as compared to other students and should we teach them individually?

These were some of the issues the 14- to 16-year students had to debate, in accordance with British Parliamentary procedure, during the preliminary round of the International Competition of Young Debaters (ICYD). In addition to teams from a number of Hungarian high schools participated, several Milestone teams took part as well.

Right before the start of the debates, there was much excitement, since the participants only got to know the precise topic, which side they would be on, and who their opponents would be 15 minutes before. The judges came partly from Cambridge, whose debating society organises the ICYD, and partly from the Debating Society of Hungary, alongside with the leader of ELTE Debating Society.

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By the end of the competition the teams “Double Bluff” (Debreceni Fazekas Gimnázium), “Sushi” (Milestone Institute), “The Besties” (Milestone Institute) and “The Evidence (Milestone Institute) made it to the finals. The debate over women and income tax was won by team Sushi. The judges emphasised that the team not only dealt with the issue on a family basis, but placed the problem in a wider context by referring to other levels of society. They argued that government measures only make matters worse, and that the problem should be resolved from within society.

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The three teams travelling to the international finals, which will be held in Cambridge, are: “Sushi”, “The Evidence” and “Double Bluff”. The Milestone Institute congratulates the participants and is especially grateful to all high school teachers who took part in the preparation of the teams. We would like to stress that team Double Bluff, who only had a very short time for preparation, managed to achieve an excellent result.

We would like to thank the ELTE Debate Club and the CEU Debate Society for their assistance and participation in the Debating Society of Hungary day; the Milestone Debating Society for their assistance in organising the event; and the Milestone Cuisine Society for their help in catering.