SM St Michael’ Institution Ipoh recently came out tops at the 8th National English Debate Competition organised by HELP University College in Damansara, Kuala Lumpur.
The competition this year attracted a total of 96 schools from throughout Malaysia. Under a new format, at the preliminary round, all teams had to participate in four debates over one weekend whereby the points achieved would determine which teams moved onto the next round.
The SMK St Michael’s team, which was made up of James William Foong, Noel Anthony Mano, Frederick Dylan Pereria (Form Five) and Muhammed Imran ( Form Four), won all debates at the preliminary round. Their teacher advisors were Mr. Thederajan and Mr. Palaiswaran.
For winning the national competition, the team members and the school received a total of RM80,000 worth of prizes. Each of the speakers received partial scholarships from the college valued at RM12,000 each, digital camera, mobile phone and trophies.
James who additionally won the Best Speaker Award, also took home a full scholarship award valued at RM20,000 and RM500 in cash. Prizes for the school included a desktop computer, LCD TV and the challenge trophy.
If there was one factor that contributed to the success of the school’s win it would be good all round teamwork. According to Palaiswaran, this included the Parent-Teachers Association providing the finance to cover the teams’ travel expenses. Additionally the team also had a ‘consultant’ in their ex-Principal Mr. Louis Rosario Doss, an avid debater himself, whom they could call on when they needed advice.