Youths ready to rock the stage on the final day
The Jakarta Post’s Youth Speak Fun Day serves as a stage for both state senior high schools and vocational high schools in Denpasar to shine equally on the English festival’s blazing final day, which will take place at the Bali Arts Center on Jl. Nusa Indah on Saturday.
“We’ve put in our best efforts and we’re confident we’ll get the best result tomorrow,” said Michael van Ziteque, 17, a 12th grade student at tourism vocational high school SMK Pariwisata Harapan Denpasar, to Bali Daily on Friday.
“People usually think that when a student studies at SMK, it’s because they have failed to be admitted at SMA because they aren’t smart enough. We’ve proven over the past days that although we come from a vocational high school, we are strong contenders and could reach this far, even though other participants are from state senior high schools.” Michael is a member of SMK Pariwisata Harapan’s debate team, which recently won first place in the English Debating Contest for vocational high schools in Bali.
Michael was speaking after he and his teammates, Siska and Rangga, completed their last round in the debate contest against SMAN 5 Denpasar to fight for third place at the festival co-hosted by The Jakarta Post Foundation, the Education and Culture Ministry, the Denpasar mayoralty and US oil company Chevron.
Friday’s final round debate was held with the motion that international standard schools harmed the educational future of Indonesian students. As the affirmative team, Michael and his teammates argued that those sorts of schools encouraged commercialism in education, which violated the right to education for all, those that have and those that do not.
The result for third place in the debate contest will be announced on Saturday, after the final round of debate between SMAN 1 and SMAN 4, competing for the first and second place.
An adjudicator for the debate competition, Putu Suardika, said: “Debate is not only a matter of fluency and accuracy in English use but also the ability to topple the arguments of the opposing team. The final between SMAN 1 and SMAN 4 is surely worth watching for all our young debaters around Bali. It’s more challenging, because it will be performed on a public stage in front of many spectators.”
Meanwhile, in the spelling bee contest, 10 finalists from SMA Taman Rama, SMAN 4, SMKN 2, SMA PGRI 2, and SMKN 4 stood out from the 54 contenders. “The competition will be quite intense. The final is a spoken round. It means we just give them the word and they immediately give the spelling [verbally],” said head judge Alan Davies, who is also the senior academic operations manager at EF Indonesia.
On the sidelines of the preliminary rounds for Youth Speak Fun Day on Friday at SMKN 3 Denpasar, head of Denpasar education, youth and sports agency IGN Eddy Mulya expressed his pride in the talented Denpasar students, while hoping for a greater scope in competitions in the future.
“The Youth Speak competitions have provided remarkable opportunities for the students to explore their talents. I hope that next year, the Youth Speak Fun Day can also welcome more students, not only from the SMK and SMA levels but also those of SMP [junior high] in Denpasar,” said Eddy.
Finals of the news reading contest will see 22 of the 99 contestants who competed in the preliminaries on Thursday and Friday. Saturday’s Youth Speak Fun Day, which runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., will also feature the best submissions in writing, photography and song lyrics; various games, like cupid pen, posters and scrabble; as well as choir, music and drama performances from SMKN 4, SMK PGRI 5, Bali International School, SMKN 3, SMA Taman Rama; and a special appearance by popular band Naif.