Climate change hot topic at The Great Discussion

Aziz Idris

The Great Discussion debate competition for sixth form students organised by the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam commenced yesterday with the preliminary rounds.

The theme for The Great Discussion was ‘Climate Change’, which aligns with Brunei’s ambition towards a low carbon and climate resilient pathway. The five schools competing are Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre, Meragang Sixth Form Centre, Tutong Sixth Form Centre, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli), and last year’s champion Sayyidina Ali Secondary School (SMSA). Students will discuss either ‘renewable energy the way forward’ or ‘if humans the reason for global warming or is it a natural phenomenon’. This is timely as the United Kingdom (UK) will be hosting a vital gathering of world leaders in Glasgow in November for the Climate Change Conference (COP26).

British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay was delighted to host competition for the third year. “Climate change is a critical topic to everyone today. The last four years have been the warmest on record, and we are seeing increasing incidents of climate related disasters around the world. “This is an opportunity for the youth to engage with this issue and explore ways that we can each make behavioural changes to play our part in addressing climate change.”

The debate is part of the ‘Education is GREAT’ campaign that runs across ASEAN. It is an opportunity to celebrate the UK and Brunei’s long standing educational links and to support Brunei Vision 2035. The judges also played a crucial role in providing feedback for the students. Among them were Muhammad Aziman bin Haji Nasir from the Wawasan 2035 Council, Noor Dina Zharina binti Haji Yahya from the Climate Change Secretariat and Irwan bin Haji Abdul Rahman from the Department of Co-Curriculum Education.

The semi-finals will be on January 21 followed by the final round on January 30. The debate is co-hosted by Department of Co-Curriculum Education at the Ministry of Education and the British High Commission in Brunei Darussalam with support from CfBT Education Services and Standard Chartered Bank.

ABOVE & BELOW: The panel of judges; and the participants in a discussion during the preliminary rounds. PHOTOS: BRITISH HIGH COMMISSION IN BRUNEI DARUSSALAM