Schools from Borneo to face-off in Swinburne debate
Date posted: 21 March, 2012
Yin … 80 teams expected to compete.
KUCHING – Secondary schools from Sarawak, Sabah and Indonesia will clash in a battle of wits at the seventh Swinburne Sarawak Inter-school Debate Championship from 31 March to 3 April.
To be held at Swinburne University of Technology Sarawak Campus, it will be one of the biggest yet as a total of 80 teams are expected to tussle for the coveted champion trophy. A total of 240 students are expected in the fray.
“Last year there were 72 teams from 25 schools including teams from three schools in Miri and two schools in Sibu. This time we are raising the team cap to 80, and are inviting schools from Sabah to participate,” said Christina Yin, advisor of the Swinburne Sarawak Debaters’ Club which organises the event annually.
“Guest debaters from Pontianak were the winners of our English writing and speech competitions partially sponsored by Swinburne Sarawak last year and we hope they will be the first of many to join us from Indonesia.”
This is the first time schools from outside Sarawak will be taking part, said the associate head of the School of Language and Foundation.
“This is a clear indication that the student-initiated event has gained popularity over the years,” she said.
The teams will be divided into two categories: Junior, for students from Forms 1 to 3, and Senior, for those from Forms 4 to 6.
The prizes up for grabs include trophies for the Champions, Runners Up, Best Debater in the Final, Best Overall Debaters (five in each category), Best Speaker of English and Most Promising Team.
An experienced chief adjudicator and deputy chief adjudicators from Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia will form the Adjudication Core who decide on the motions, or topics.
To be debated in the World School Debating style where three students are required per team, the motions will be given to debaters only 30 minutes before they face each other, although students will be provided with the research areas about two weeks before the tournament.
Debaters therefore need to have good general knowledge to form opinions and make arguments in a very short period of time.
The tournament encourages students of secondary schools to debate in English and sharpen their oral and communication skills as well as their reasoning and critical thinking skills.Last year Chung Hua Middle School No. 1 was crowned champion after beating SMK St Teresa in the tournament. The junior category was won by SMK Green Road after a close battle with SM Lodge.
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