SPH Lippo Village Team Won the First Place at Canisius College Debate

An SPH Lippo Village debate team recently won first place at the Canisius College English Debate Competition. This competition was held by SMA Kolose Kanisius in Jakarta, on December 10-15, 2018.

SPHLV sent two teams to participate in this competition. Team A consisted of Gissela Kontaria, Jessica Tjandra and Judah Purwanto (all from Grade 11), while Team B consisted of Bara Salim (Grade 9), Nadelin Setiawan (Grade 9), and Jonathan Sudarpo (Grade 10).

Team A earned 1st place after they won the final round against SMAK 6 Penabur team. Team B also achieved a very creditable 4th place. Besides team awards, there were also awards for individuals. For the Best Speaker category, Judah Purwanto won 1st place and Gissela Kontaria won 3rd place.

There were four rounds in the competition. Each round was set up in an Asian parliamentary style, with a debate being held between two teams: The Government Side and the Opposition Side.

Students acknowledged that the competition was quite difficult. They were given several motions with a variety of weighty topics in the areas of economics, politics, criminal justice, moral values, and freedom of speech. For example, one of the motions talked about the freedom to choose a religion, and whether parents should be allowed to inflict their religion on their children or not.

A lot of the motions given were very contextual and required some knowledge of today’s world. This required the students to keep up-to-date with current news as they prepared for this competition. Aside from that, the motions were given only 45 minutes before the competition, thus it required the students to think fast and to be highly knowledgeable on a wide range of topics.

The students recognized the aspects of school life which have prepared them for this event. Judah Purwanto, who won 1st Place for the Best Speaker category, confirmed this in his testimony:

“The school has directly given me a platform to operate in the debate club. Because I am allowed to be in a club with like-minded people, we are able to go in depth on things. We do a lot of self-research and independent learning, and that has definitely propelled us to do better at school. Aside from that, a lot of stuff I learned in the IBDP and MYP have given me specific, niche skills that probably other schools are not accustomed to. One of the subjects we learn is the Theory of Knowledge (TOK) which has been a great platform to learn many theories and advanced ideas for a high school student level. Many of SPH’s learning has trained us to explain things in a coherent way that others can understand. That is a very big advantage for a debater.”

Judah also mentioned the nature of SPH’s community that fosters his public speaking skill:

“The last thing that I think has definitely helped me as a debater would be the fact that SPH’s community is so socialized and interconnected, with vast amounts of clubs and interaction with teachers. Through this, public speaking has become something I developed naturally.”

Mr. Sydney Muganzi, as the Debate Club advisor accompanied our students to the competition. The students are grateful for his guidance and support throughout the process. Mr. Sydney told us about how the students joined this competition:

“SPH has a well-known reputation in debate, and we have received many debate competition invitations from different schools or institutions. The students participated in this competition through a direct invitation from SMA Kanisius.”

By joining the Debate Club and participating in debate competitions, students get the chance to develop many skills: communication, in-depth research, critical thinking and many more. Mr. Sydney confirmed this and he emphasized how all of these are important life skills that are applicable in many aspects of life:

“In a debate, you have to learn how to be a good listener, how to analyze your opponent’s argument, how to organize your own thoughts, to articulate your argument in a clear way and to practice good self-expression. All of these are applicable life-skills that are not only beneficial at school, but also in university, the workplace, and even in relationships.”

SPH Lippo Village Debate Club is a student-led, independent organization that consists of nine members, who actively join debate competitions each year. We believe that this can be a good channel for students who are passionate about debating and want to develop other important skills as well. For those of you who consider yourself as a good candidate for the Debate Club, do not hesitate to join!

For more information about SPH Lippo Village Debate Club, please contact Judah Purwanto at: judah.purwanto@student.sph.ac.id