Citizen education – The gymnasiens of Yverdon impose themselves as kings of the debate

Facing the Nyonnais, the Nord-Vaudois won this weekend the regional final of the verbal jousts, which was played by interposed screens.

Digital generation

The regional final of the Lake Geneva region pitted the Yverdon duo of Carmel Povlakic (right) and Loris Rochat (left) against Nyonnais Alicia Occhipinti and Elliot Hannon.


It was in digital that the qualifiers for thearc lémanique for the national final ofu program «Youth debate».

«The most complicated was knowing when to speak», notes Alicia Occhipinti, from the Gymnase de Nyon. «The cohesion between my partner and me was more difficult, completes Carmel Povlakic, from the Yverdon Gymnasium (Gyyv). Technical problems also added stress during the debates

The event organized in visioconférence, vfrom the Microsoft Team, by the association Young Enterprise Switzerland (YES) brought together sixteen young people from the two schools. Examined by a jury made up of politicians, journalists, education professionals and alumni, these verbal jousts aim to encourage future citizens to form an opinion, at discuss constructively and at participate in the votes. «In particular, I learned the ability to listen to others and respect their voice while taking up my argument when necessary.», notes Loris Rochat, who defended the colors of the spa town.

“In particular, I learned the ability to listen to others and respect their speeches while taking up my arguments when necessary.”

Loris Rochat, high schools

The topics covered were announced a month in advance, in order to give students time to learn more about the subject and prepare their arguments. The first rounds focused on the need to set binding ecological standards for the purchase of electricity abroad as well as the relevance of publishing the origin of suspected criminals in police statements. Each match was between two tandems during twenty four minutes.

Drawn by lot, the distribution of points of view for or against did not necessarily coincide with the personal opinion of the jousters. «I was very impressed by their ability to memorize so much information and react to what their interlocutors said.», reacts Baptise Naito, teacher at Gyyv.

Drama for the final! The subject of the debate was a hot topic: should the self-employed benefit from the same social benefits as legal persons in the event of an economic crisis? The team «against» created the surprise. «I think the benefits should be higher for the self-employed than for the companies because they risk much more, said EllIt Hannon, gymnasian in Nyon. The capital of their small business is connected to their heritage.» Forced to bounce back, supporters of «for» sought to distinguish the particular situation from the pandemic in order to reaffirm the need for a similar treatment in absolute terms. With success since the jury responsible for evaluating knowledge of the subject, oral expression and the power of persuasion awarded them the victory.

If Carmel and Loris won this stage, Alicia and Elliot will also take part in the national final which should be held on May 14th and 15th in Bern. «I hope that the themes of the final will be more linked to the concerns of young people, confides Carmel Povlakic, on which we will be more eager to express ourselves, and thus to reflect on our own opinions and how to defend them.»

Posted today at 19:27

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