Story-tellers pit their skills

(left and right) Champions Sriyya and Keshrina with their teacher Mohana Ram after the prize presentation.

METHODIST Girls’ School, Ipoh, organised a storytelling competition for secondary schools for the first time in support of creative language art.

After a year of preparation, the “MGS National Level Dual Storytelling Competition For Secondary Schools 2017” was held.

Fifteen schools from Kedah, Kuala Lumpur, Perak, Johor and Kelantan took part in the competition. Originally, 30 schools signed up but due to a lack of funds, some had pulled out.

English language co-ordinator Mohana Ram Murugiah and his team of 12 English teachers from Methodist Girls’ School organised this as a school project last year, which turned out to be a success. Following the success, Mohana Ram decided to take up the challenge of organising the first ever dual storytelling competition for secondary schools at national level in Malaysia under their cluster school banner, with the approval and support of principal Gan Lee Lee.

The event also received the approval from the Education Ministry.

Preparation for the competition began as early as last year as they lacked the funds to pursue the competition at national level.

However, with the help of the MGS parent-teacher association (PTA), the problem was solved and they started sending invitations to schools from all over Malaysia.

The competition was held last Saturday. Teachers and students from MGS worked to ensure the smooth flow of the event.

The panel of five adjudicators was headed by Pamela Esther Devadason, an experienced figure in the English language teaching fraternity in Malaysia.

The competition started with the “prepared round”. The theme given was “Tales from Malaysia”. Students were given eight minutes to present their stories.

This was followed by the impromptu round. Participants were given five minutes to prepare a story and present it to the adjudicators. The title for the impromptu round was “When there’s a will, there’s a way”, given by the chief adjudicator Pamela.

She said it was difficult to choose the winners as everyone performed well.

Aida Ahmad, who represented the Perak education department director, praised the MGS Storytelling organising committee for their efforts. She also expressed her hope that the event would be organised annually.

She presented the prizes together with Gan, senior assistant Haslina Abdul Rahim and PTA chairman

Muzzafar Md Zin.

Keshrina Subramaniam and Srriya Jawahar from MGS Ipoh with their story entitled “Superstitious” on a tale from the Baba Nyonya community in Melaka emerged as the overall champion of the competition and the first proud owners of the MGS challenge trophy.

They dedicated their victory to Mohana Ram for training them while preparing for the competition.

SMK ACS, Ipoh was the first runner – up while SMJK Sin Min from Sungai Petani, Kedah, was the second runner – up, which also won the best costumes award.

MGS Ipoh hopes to create their own brand in the world of storytelling. They intend to turn the national competition into an annual affair. They also plan the international version of the competition next year. They are sure they can do so with the unwavering support from their principal, administrative department and PTA as well as the panel of experienced and devoted English teachers.

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