ON THE 21 ST MAY 2009, SEBASTIEN NG KUET LEONG, REPRESENTING MAURITIUS, WON THIS PRESTIGIOUS COMPETITION WITH A FANTANSTIC SPEECH ENTITLED “COLOURING GREY MATTER, BRAIN BOOSTING

Sebastien speech enabled our National flag to fly high in this event which gathered 73 participants from 42 countries worldwide.

In 2009, a total of 49 schools took part in the Public Speaking Competition. These comprised 44 schools in Mauritius and 5 schools in Rodrigues. This year, 67 schools in Mauritius , as well as the 5 schools in Rodrigues, took part in this competition.

As regards students’ participation, this year, a total of 102 students took part in the heats (as opposed to 70 in 2009). As the competition progressed, 9 students reached the Finals. We cannot be certain as regards the number of students in the individual schools who actually compete being given that each school is responsible for organising its own heats internally. On a purely indicative level, we believe that there is a minimum of 250 students nationally who are involved in Mauritius .

Insofar as Rodrigues is concerned, a separate competition is held every year. Members of the ESU actually travel to Rodrigues in order to hold the heats. The finalist from Rodrigues automatically takes part in the Finals held in Mauritius . He / She makes up the figure of 9 finalists as he / she travels to Mauritius and competes with the 8 Mauritian finalists.

In relation to the subject-matter of the speeches, the ESU has given schools and students the freedom to choose their themes. However, once students reach the Finals, it is mandatory that students adopt the theme chosen by ESU London. For 2010, the theme will be “Speculation of our future”.

In 2009, Mr Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong’s success at the International Public Speaking Competition has boosted the appeal and relevance of the National Public-Speaking Competition organised by the ESU. This was the very first time a Mauritian has won this prestigious International competition. It was widely acclaimed as a matter of national pride and in the field of education with particular emphasis on the use of the English language in Mauritius . During the Annual Dinner of the ESU that was held in July 2009, the President of the Republic described Mr Ng Kuet Leong’s performance as an “outstanding success that has brought pride to our country. You are today the pride, not only for your parents, teachers and classmates but also for the whole nation” . The ESU President, Ms. Sharmilla Bhima , declared that Mr Ng Kuet Leong had become “the role model of the youth of today”.

The ESU is confident that Mr Ng Kuet Leong’s success has motivated more students to come forward and participate in the National Public Speaking Competition organised by the ESU.

The International Public Speaking Competition will be held in London from 17 th to 21 st May 2010 . .