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Geography Debate with Headington

Geography Debate with Headington

Harris Society debate with Headington School

On Friday April 22nd, ten budding geographers travelled to Headington School in Oxford to listen to a talk and then join a debate. We met the girls at their lovely music centre, where we went for a delightful meal and I would like to say a big thank you from Radley for the hospitality, which was second to none. 

After the meal, we went for a talk from Mr Trevor Cole, an expert, former teacher and photographer, who showed us his magnificent pieces of work and described the situation occurring in Ethiopia specifically: a place he has worked and visited for many years. This was an excellent and enlightening talk and taught us much about the issues regarding Africa, but also about what an amazing country Ethiopia is. 

We then started the debate. The motion was, ‘Aid to Africa does more harm than good’. The team for the motion was Geordie Gordon-Lennox, Jamie Farr, Issy Lang and Rosie Little against myself, Tom Allan, Hannah Anson and Izzy Morton. We started off with an uninterrupted three-minute introduction on our thoughts on the motion, before the two experts judging the debate asked specific questions to us about the motion and what we thought. We were then asked numerous questions from the audience which was very tough. Alexander Beare asked the most controversial question of the night: everyone gasped, as he asked whether one should allow Africans to die to save money. As the debate went on, both teams debated and argued against one another, which was enthralling and filled with many answers of a high quality. 

As the debate came to a close, the ‘against team’ were given the victory after our rebuttal of their point on Fair Trade and how Trans-National Corporations use the poor and exploit them for their own benefit, as well as using the moral obligation which we possess as a developed nation to help others. 

The debate was great fun and one can only hope that Radley and Headington have more debates between each other.  A big thank you to GJAH for his help in organising the debate, as well as Mr Cunningham from Headington, in chairing the debate and allowing us to use their great facilities. Also thanks to EGP for taking us there and a special thank you from Radley to the girls for being such gracious hosts and for embracing us when we arrived. 

Report by Charles Henry, E Social 6.1

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