Three CIA FIRST students, namely Justine Rellin, Sunita Lath and Sandra Peang took home first place for their performance at the Cambodia International Debate and Public Speaking Championship (CamDEBATE) in August.
In the world renowned showcase of debate and public speaking, the CIA FIRST students went up against contenders from all over Phnom Penh and Cambodia to eventually take home the gold as they debated the final topic pertaining to the use of smartphones as an academic tool. The competition initially attracted over 500 contestants from the audition round and contestants engaged in debate through to the elimination round, the semi final and final round. The winning team will spend two weeks on a study tour in the UK.
Both Sunita and Sandra also partook in the public speaking competition, making it to elimination rounds. “It was a great experience,” said Sandra who hopes to compete again this year in public speaking events.
Participants for the debate events were given two weeks before the semi-final to research their topic. The motion for the semi-final rounds was ‘Technology is helpful for face to face interaction’.
“One of our arguments was: it helps us to branch out and reach different people. For example, in situations where you wouldn’t have talked to people at first, with technology you can speak to them first and then you end up meeting face to face,” said Sunita.
Going into the finals, the three friends were well prepared for the motion.
“We had loads and loads of preparation performing in front of our teammates and mentors,” said Justine.
“When it comes to what we think was the winning factor, for us it had to be the sheer amount of data and research we had”
Norman Still, CIAPP Curriculum Coordinator and CamDEBATE mentor noted that
“From the very beginning of the competition, the girls showed extraordinary determination and passion. They were well prepared for every round, but what was most impressive was the way they anticipated and planned strategies to overcome rebuttal. Although strong in their own arguments, they foresaw the arguments of their opponents. The brilliance of their preparation carried them to victory.”
Of course this follows an extraordinary year for CIA FIRST school and students in the 2018/2019 academic year as Philip Muscott, CIA FIRST Head of Curriculum commented:
“I am enormously proud of our students’ wonderful achievements, and would like to think that their success at least in part was due to CIA FIRST’s focus on ‘Supporting Arguments and Claims with Evidence’, which has been one of the curriculum’s Critical Learner Needs for the past three years, as part of the school’s ACS WASC Accreditation process”
Sunita, Justine and Sandra will take off for London on the 12th of October for a two week study trip. We cannot wait to hear all about their adventures!