| Aziz Idris |
DEFENDING champions, Sayyidina Ali Secondary School (SMSA) emerged as the top secondary school after ousting Paduka Seri Begawan Sultan Science College (MSPSBS) at the finals of the Great Debate Competition yesterday.
It was held at the Raya Hall of Radio Television Brunei (RTB) recorded live for a special programme to be aired at a later date.
Minister of Education Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, who was accompanied by British High Commissioner to Brunei Darussalam Richard Lindsay presented the prizes.
SMSA student Mohamed Faisal bin Nizamudeen was also awarded best speaker in the competition.
Both schools delivered great arguments to defend their motion on solar energy as sustainable, focussing on affordability and accessibility to solar energy and building its infrastructure by undeveloped countries.
The second edition of the competition was jointly organised by the Department of Co-Curriculum Education at the Ministry of Education and the British High Commission with support from CfBT Education Services and Standard Chartered Bank.
Sengkurong Sixth Form Centre, Meragang Sixth Form Centre, Tutong Sixth Form Centre, Duli Pengiran Muda Al-Muhtadee Billah College (Maktab Duli) and Hassanal Bolkiah Boys Arabic Secondary School (SMALHB) also participated.
The Great Debate Competition, part of a wider ‘Education is Great’ campaign that runs across the 10 ASEAN member countries, is an opportunity to celebrate the United Kingdom (UK) and Brunei’s long standing educational links and to support Brunei Vision 2035 to produce a future generation of confident leaders.
This years’ theme ‘Sustainability’ focussed on ASEAN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The topics touched on areas that are of importance to Brunei, the UK and ASEAN such as government and corporation roles in encouraging sustainable behaviours, United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals on Agriculture, environment, and gender equality.
Debating provides a platform to empower and educate students to be open-minded and develop communication and critical thinking skills that can be useful in university life and future careers.
It also encourages students to develop essential critical thinking skills and to engage in global social and economic issues. The Great Debate Competition provides an opportunity for the students to practise this in a UK Parliamentary style.
There was also a ‘Journey through the UK Photo Competition’ photo exhibit which featured the top winning photos by Brunei students studying in the UK.
The photo competition was organised by the British High Commission together with Brunei Student Union (BSU) as part of the British High Commission’s ‘Education is Great’ campaign.