30 July, 2013
ST ANDREW’S School emerged overall champion yesterday in the 7th Brunei Darussalam Inter-School Junior Level English Debate Competition 2013. Opposing the motion “This House Believes that Science is a Threat to Humanity”, St Andrew’s School beat the proposer, Chung Hwa Middle School.
The guest of honour, Haji Juma’at bin Salleh, Acting Assistant Director of Schools (Secondary Section) Ministry of Education, said debating is challenging but the reward of having been through the rigors of debate is multifold. To be able to put ideas in an orderly and structured manner and to present one’s ideas with the right intonation will surely make one a winner in any sales marketing. This is vital in any vocation.
He said many of the nation’s top lawyers, doctors, engineers, managers and elected leaders were once involved in high school debates and for good reasons. He said debate-related skills help one get ahead and stay there. The power to persuade is highly respected and there is no better way to master this art than through debate.
“In line with SPN21, I am confident that students are given this opportunity to practice and acquire debating skills, not only in language subjects but also across the curriculum. Debating provides the opportunity for students to test their understanding, learn to construct proper sentences and the use of correct words. These requirements will make students read more so as to be more effective in their delivery. It also makes them critical thinkers as they need to question the validity of other ideas and opinions. This will not only improve their language fluency but also their ability to reason out and think objectively,” he said.
He said by taking part and aiming for excellence in the competition, it somehow has made debaters more disciplined. He hoped debaters will apply the same determination in studies and in all pursuits. He also hopes that participants will be role models for their friends and school mates. Good debating skills mean good communication skills and good communications make good effective leaders.