UNIS Debate Society Wins Tournament

The UNIS Debate Society recently won the Vietnam British Parliamentary Debate Competition 2021, where they achieved National Championship, as well as individual awards. The group is a Student Initiative Program (SIP) club created and led by Grade 11 student Jeongha Kim. The students compete by debating with each other and hosting debate competitions with other schools.

Kim said that he created the club so that students could have an opportunity to practice their debate skills. “I wanted a space to debate as a student representative of our school; it is always an honor to represent,” Kim said. “I also wanted to provide access to competitive debate for UNIS Students.”

Kim explained that the group recently participated in various debate competitions, including the Hanoi Debate Tournament, the Diplomatic Academy of Vietnam Debate Open, and the Visayas Debate Open, where they received second, tenth, and first places respectively. “Because we were a relatively small group, it represents the stages of growth,” Kim said. “It represents a kind of pride for us, because it materialises the work that we’ve put in into prestige and achievement.”

The Debate Society has four teams, with two teams consisting of older and more experienced members, such as Kim or Grade 11 student Francesco Silva. The other two teams consist of newer members. Both the new and the old teams practice every Wednesday for two hours after school. Occasionally, they practice debates against members from other teams in Korea, Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong. They also do skills training which can come in the form of fun drills.

Kim emphasized that students with no prior experience of debate can join the UNIS Debate Society. “The skills acquired go beyond great public speaking ability,” Kim said. “Members will also learn a very strong general understanding of any topic ranging from politics and economy to social justice and the arts. Perhaps more importantly, members will learn how to think on their feet; a valuable asset in any context.”

Kim also stated that he wishes for the Debate Society to maintain its position as a haven for people who would like to pursue debate after he graduates. He wishes for the club to continue to serve as a contributor to the larger debate community in Vietnam.