For a third consecutive year, the Pacific Institute of Public Policy has brought secondary school students together to dissect, discuss and dispute key issues of the region. Ten schools from Efate have signed up to compete in a new format aimed to provide greater levels of participation and learning for students. The following is an update (with video clips) of the 2016 competition.
Working together with IBS, the Vanuatu Ministry of Education and Training, the National Parliament of the Solomon Islands and Fiji’s Ministry of Education, PiPP has developed a range of resources for the Melanesian School Debate (MSD). This sub-regional debate initiative brings together the region's future leaders to interpret and assess key regional issues, providing them with the space to explore new perspectives and present an informed exchange of ideas to their peers and community.
For teachers, schools, civil society groups and organisations who are interested in debate, PiPP has developed a number of debate introductory activities that can be adopted, including a simplified classroom debate handbook that can be shared with students to introduce the concepts.
From 23-27 November 2015, secondary students from Vanuatu, Fiji and Solomon Islands came together in Port Vila to vie for the title of Melanesian school debating champions. Topics included governing systems, climate change, poverty, peacekeeping, and international diplomacy.
Throughout the week students impressed the audience and adjudicators with their eloquence and understanding of key regional and international issues. Faced with some of the same themes debated in parliaments around the Pacific, the students demonstrated great potential as future leaders.
PiPP continues it’s support for both Vanuatu's schools debate competition and the regional Melanesian Cup. Debating encourages young minds to develop critical thinking, public speaking, research skills, and the confidence to creatively structure persuasive arguments.