Schools from region to vie for Swinburne debating title

Participants listening attentively to the presentation on multimedia technology at the Swinburne Sarawak lecture theatre.

KUCHING: About 30 secondary schools from the region are expected to go all out to win the 10th Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak Campus, Inter-school Debating Championship trophy.

The four-day event, which will be held from Feb 2 to 5, will see close to 300 students, teachers and adjudicators converge at the university.

“We expect schools from all over the country and the region to sign up for the competition,” said Christina Yin, advisor of the Swinburne Sarawak Debaters Club, which organises the championship.

To date schools from Brunei, Malacca, Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Sabah as well as schools from Kuching have confirmed participation.

“Schools now see the importance of debates as platforms for students to polish their command of the English language, presentation and oratory skills apart from boosting their confidence in public speaking,” she said.

Yin, the associate dean for preparatory studies with the Faculty of Language and Communication, expects more schools from outside Sarawak to join in the fray, among them a school from Indonesia.

Last year a school from Selangor emerged champion, while an Indonesian school won the title in 2012.

Held annually since 2006, the Swinburne Sarawak debating championship has since come a long way since its early days.

“What started as a small event, initiated and put together by Swinburne Sarawak students 10 years ago, it has today grown in popularity among secondary schools,” Yin said.

“Looking back, we’re amazed we’ve come this far. We’re pleased schools see the significance of the championship in terms of how it could make a difference in their students.”

Yin attributed success to the support from the senior management of Swinburne Sarawak, Sarawak Education Department, schools and other parties who had contributed in one way or another.

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