Hundreds of Denpasar youths flocked to the Bali Art Center, on Jl. Nusa Indah, to attend the final day of The Jakarta Post Foundation’s inaugural Youth Speak Fun Day on Saturday.
“For an event in Denpasar, this festival is awesome with its performances and bazaars and entertainment. It feels just like a national happening. We also met some tough rivals during the debating competition,” a member of state high school SMAN 1 Denpasar’s debating team, Aldwin Octavianus Wijaya, told Bali Daily.
Eleventh-grader Aldwin, along with his teammates Hansen Tanaka and Vanessa Bertha, emerged as the debating champions of the day, toppling their toughest rival team, Alanna Deborah Letedara, I Gede Bagus Gloria Kusuma Pradana and Anyssa Rizka from high school SMAN 4 Denpasar. The second runner-up place was won by students from SMK Harapan, while the team from SMAN 5 came in as third runners-up.
Meanwhile, the winners of the spelling bee contest were Max Mulyono from Taman Rama high school; Gede Ngurah Kevin from SMAN 4; and Yogi Pramarhata of SMKN 2. Three winners were also announced in the essay-writing competition: Ida Ayu Bika Alice Pidada from SMAN 4; and Jessica Kwenandar and Ivana Rosalita Lianto, who both attend Taman Rama high school.
In the news reading finals, the winning newscaster was Jonathan Evert Rayon of SMAN 1; the first runner-up was Sayu Aryantini Thanaya of SMAN 1; second runner-up, Margaretha Regine of SMAN 4; and third runner-up, Intan Aspriyani Badung of SMAN 7.
For the photographic competition, first place was won by Caesar of Harapan vocational high school; second place by Diana Sari Ramadhani of Muhammadiyah 1 high school; and third place by Teja Ari Wiyanti of SMK PGRI 3.
In the competition for best song lyrics, the teams from SMAN 1 and Taman Rama high school were chosen as the winners after sending in their original songs.
The first-ever Youth Speak Fun Day was brought to a close on Saturday afternoon with a special appearance by well-known music band Naif, which resulted in all the high school students shimmying and grooving together under the sunny Denpasar skies.
The Jakarta Post’s editor-in-chief, Meidyatama Suryodiningrat, was present at the event, as were Chevron Pacific Indonesia’s corporate social responsibility manager, Harry Bustaman; Denpasar Mayor Ida Bagus Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra; directorate general of secondary education at the Education and Culture Ministry, Hamid Muhammad; and The Jakarta Post Foundation’s executive director, Yulia Herawati.
Hamid acknowledged that English was a challenging subject for Indonesian public school students.
“Indonesian students still need to improve their spoken and written English, while many English teachers are still required to polish the way they deliver the subject,” said Hamid.