Jewel Shim Huei Zi, Jemimah Wen-Xi Liew and Syahla Salsabilia of SMSA (KB) receiving the trophy from Nadia Lee Siew Hoon binti Abdullah, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education and accompanied by Richard Lindsay, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam during the Great Debate Final held at Dewan Raya, RTB last week
Jemimah receiving her Best Speaker trophy
I miss debating. Reminds me of my high school days. For the past few years, I have been witnessing debating competition among schools and this is a great platform for students as they will be equipped with current affairs and can be beneficial to their studies.
Last week, Sayyidina Ali Secondary School (SMSA) were crowned the champions of the Great Debate Competition 2018 organised by the British High Commission and Department of Co-Curriculum Education at the Ministry of Education with the support of CfBT. They beat PTES (Bengkurong Sixth Form Centre) in the finals. We used to hear of Maktab Sains (MS) and Maktab Duli (MD) of making to the finals but this year, it’s a different story.
SMSA won their last debate competition back in 2010/2011. So it was great to see them back in winning ways.
The guest of honour during the finals at Dewan Raya, RTB was Nadia Lee Siew Hoon binti Abdullah, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Education. Also present was Richard Lindsay, the British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam.
Richard was full of praise for the students on their efforts and these are essential skills especially for the young students. This will also help them in the future for Brunei vision 2035 as the topic touches on Commonwealth issues where Brunei is part of it.
Stuart Lee, the chief adjudicator, praised the deliveries of the debaters and saw brighter futures for them. He advised for the finalists to also focus on more solid examples to justify their points.
The Great Debate Competition, supported by CfBT Education Services, is the first of its kind to be held in Brunei, a new milestone in the partnership between the Department of Co-Curriculum Education at the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam.
The competition carries the theme ‘The Commonwealth: Towards a Common Future’, reflecting the theme of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting which His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam is expected to attend this April in the United Kingdom.
Richard Lindsay speaking to the debaters from PTES after the prize ceremony
Stuart Lee the chief adjudicator giving his remarks of the debate
Geraldine Ting, Ak Muhd Rulzaimi bin Pg Hj Ramlee and Jessilyn Teh Jing Ying representing PTES
Hello MD students who came to support the finals too
The winners with their mentors and coaches from SMSA
It was no surprise that ‘Overall Best Speaker’ of the Great Debate Competition went to Jemimah Wen-Xi Liew of SMSA and she shared that her team had less knowledge on Commonwealth and competition was a great platform for them to expand their knowledge. The SMSA team was grateful towards their coaches and teachers who guided them in terms of research and delivery.
The competition officially began on February 5 with preliminary rounds being held in several sessions at PTES. Among the other participating schools were Hassanal Bolkiah Arabic Boys Secondary School (SMALHB), Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (Maktab Sains), and Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli).
The Great Debate Competition additionally represented a chance to celebrate the UK and Brunei’s close educational ties to produce a future generation of dynamic leaders.
The competition is part of the Asean Great Education Campaign’s programme activities, organised by the British High Commission.
It aims to support the MoE’s push to cultivate an innovative and creative culture of learning; to empower, educate and provide a platform to help students be open-minded and develop communication and critical thinking skills that can be useful in university life and future careers; as well as provide recognition to participating students who exhibit excellence in their research and communication skills.