The debates we take part in in schools are unrealistic and non-practical. The world doesn't and can't function from an extreme point of view. Maybe these debates may play a part in a students' narrow thought process by not accepting the whole picture or talking about things he/she doesn't believe in. Why should kids at a young age take stands on issues where the best solution in the real world is usually the middle ground.
If indeed the students' thought process has to be evaluated, his vocabulary and speaking skills have to be tested, let there be a competition of how should certain problems be solved instead of blind arguing as in a debate.
Let big or small or technical problems be thrown to this non-brainwashed people to come up with maybe some very innovative solutions.
How should India tackle the China threat? Or what kind of new design will you make for machine that has to clean up mines. What kind of mobile games would be a hit with adults or children?
Why not make the students really think, discuss and speak about it?
Guess what, Nokia went to kids around the world and asked them to draw what they would like their mobile to look like with what features. And, this is how even big companies get ideas for the future.
Lets make tomorrow's future think about the future rather than make them recite about the past and argue about the present.