Team Singapore wins World Schools Debating Championships in Bali

This is the third time Singapore has won the high school-level competition. Its previous wins were in 2015, when the competition was held here, and in 2011, in Scotland.
This is the third time Singapore has won the high school-level competition. Its previous wins were in 2015, when the competition was held here, and in 2011, in Scotland.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/TEAM SINGAPORE DEBATES

SINGAPORE - Team Singapore beat defending champion England in the World Schools Debating Championships (WSDC) on Thursday (Aug 10), after eight out of nine judges voted in its favour.

This is the third time Singapore has won the high school-level competition. Its previous wins were in 2015, when the competition was held here, and in 2011, in Scotland.

This year, the grand final, which was held in Bali, saw the Singapore team oppose the motion that "this House supports restrictions on free speech to combat the rise of right-wing populism".

The five-member team, selected by the Ministry of Education, comprised Hwa Chong Institution and Raffles Institution students Au Wei Ho, Siobhan Tan, Ryan Wee, Wei Shu Yang and Jonathan Yap.

The team won seven of its eight debates in the preliminary rounds before defeating Pakistan, India and the United States to qualify for the grand final.

Fifty teams from around the world took part in this year's competition.

Mr Mark Gabriel, director of the Julia Gabriel Centre in Singapore - which sponsors and organises the Singapore Secondary Schools Debating Championships - is the chairman of the WSDC 2016-2017 executive committee.

Ms Julia Gabriel, the founder and director of the Julia Gabriel education centres, said: "The students all honed their skills in our local competition... We are absolutely thrilled about the win."