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          In collaboration with the British Council, the British High Commission and the Embassy of the United States of America   THE GRAND FINALS OF THE 2017 PUBLIC SPEAKING COMPETITION FOR UPPER FORMS STUDENTS   Venue : Mauritius Gymkhana Club Date : Monday 3rd April 2017 @ 10:00 a.m.  
WINNER Name:   Sanjana Chooneea
School:    Swami Sivananda State Secondary School
RUNNER-UP Name:    Himnish Harshil Humna
School:    Royal College Curepipe
  Sponsored by the HSBC Mauritius, in collaboration with the British Council, the British High Commission and the Embassy of the United States of America, the Public Speaking Competition is an annual educational programme organized by the English Speaking Union in all 55 branches across the world where ESU has established a presence.   The Public Speaking Competition acts as a platform for students to engage in an exchange of ideas and opinions, on a national and international scale.  It enhances the participants’ public speaking and critical thinking skills and places them in situations requiring them to make spontaneous responses.  Audibility, presence on the platform, spontaneity, rapport with the audience, a coherently presented argument and demonstration of the ability to think on one’s feet are all key elements in this competition.   The competition was first launched in Mauritius in 1994 with three objectives:  
  • To provide students with an opportunity to develop the vital skills that enable them to speak with confidence in public.
 
  • To provide a focus for the learning of effective communication skills in English among young people
 
  • To give students the opportunity to meet, exchange and form friendship and understanding that will last a lifetime.
  Every year, some 150 participants take part in ESU competition.  However, a much larger number of students are involved in this activity as schools are encouraged to run an in-house competition to select their best speakers to take part in our competition.  ESU offers training to participants, both in Mauritius and in Rodrigues, to help them gain confidence on stage and improve their performance at the competition.   At the seven qualifying heats, the ESU purposely allows participants to deliver their speeches on a topic of their choice so that they reflect on a number of important issues - the most popular ones were related to corruption, child abuse, climate change, human rights, human values, poverty alleviation, the role of Women in society, science, technology, good governance and youth issues.  However, at the semi-finals held on Wednesday 15th March 2017, the speakers were required to deliver an impromptu speech on a choice of 3 topics given to them 15 minutes in advance.   This year’s National theme for the Finals held on Monday 3rd April 2017 was Peace is not an absence of War”.   Our nine Finalists (including one from Rodrigues) delivered their speeches to an important audience, comprising H.E. Mr Barlen Vyapoory, Vice-President of Mauritius, Sir Victor Glover and Mrs Marie-France Roussety, respectively Patron & President of ESU-Mauritius, H.E. Mr. Jonathan Drew, British High Commissioner, Ms Tedde Thompson, Public Affairs Officer of the US Embasy, Mr Chris Murray, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Mauritius and Dr Praveen Ramdaursingh, President of Rotary Club Vacoas, amongst others.   H.E. Mr Jonathan Drew, British High Commissioner,  Mr Chris Murray, Chief Executive Officer of HSBC Mauritius and Ms Tedde Thompson, Public Affairs Officer of the Embassy of the United States of America were on the adjudicating panel to select a Winner and a Runner-Up.   The National winner will have the opportunity to showcase his / her public speaking skills in an international competitive arena from 8th to 12th May 2017.  The International Public Speaking Competition (IPSC), now in its 37th year, is the largest public speaking tournament in the world.  Administered by the International department of ESU in London, this competition involves 600,000 participants from the 55 countries where ESU is established.  It represents one of the clearest manifestations of the goals of the ESU.   Not only does this competition develop the vital skills of participants that enable them to speak with confidence in public, but students from around the world have the opportunity to meet, engage and form friendships and understanding that will last a lifetime.   As part of the five-day programme in London, participants will receive training in public speaking and debating skills from world class ESU mentors.  Training in expression, delivery, listening and response skills are designed to improve the participants’ delivery of their prepared speeches and their ability to listen and respond to questions.  Training in organization and prioritization of arguments, reasoning and analysis, as well as critical thinking skills are designed to improve the participants’ ability to write and deliver an impromptu speech.    The aim is to enhance the participants’ expressive and persuasive abilities as well as their improvisation skills and confidence generally.  In addition, the programme includes visits to the Houses of Parliament, BBC TV studios, Hampton Court Palace, a trip to the theatre and more…   The culmination of this worldwide event is the Grand Finals which will be held on Friday 12th May 2017 at the Royal Institute of Great Britain and will filmed and livestreamed all over the world. This can be viewed on Friday 12th May 2017 on https://livestream.com/L4L/ESU2017.  ESU encourages students, sponsors, teachers and colleagues to watch the event live.  The live stream will show all of the final speeches and, after an intermission, the announcement of the winner and runner-up.   Mr Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong, representing ESU-Mauritius, had won the International Public Speaking Competition in 2009, placing Mauritius on the map of public eloquence.   This was the very first time a Mauritian had won this prestigious International competition, and it was widely acclaimed as a matter of national pride in the field of education with particular emphasis on the use of the English language in Mauritius.     The Finalists for 2017 THEME FOR 2017 FINALS : PEACE IS NOT AN ABSENCE OF WAR    
NO COLLEGE NAME SURNAME FIRST NAME Title of Speech
1 College Du St-Esprit L'EVEILLÉ Robert Ryan “Si vis pacem, para bellum “
2   Dr Maurice Curé State College NAIK Disha  'An eye for an eye will only turn the world blind'. Is pacifism the solution?
3 Droopnauth Ramphul State College MATABUDUL Rashmee The act of forgiveness
4 Mahatma Gandhi Institute Secondary School SYDAMAH Mitradeva Rao Peace, Where Art Thou?
5 Northfields International High School BEECHOUK Liam Alfie Is it possible to define peace?
6 Rodrigues College MOMUS Marie Jeaneen Domestic Violence and Teenagers in Rodrigues
7 Royal College Curepipe HUNMA Himnish Harshil Instead of tug o'war, let's play hug o'war
8 Royal College Port-Louis AFFOUAN Brian Kevin Richard Ryan Peace is the only war worth waging
9 Swami Sivananda State Secondary School CHOONEEA Sanjana Humanity's eternal and unfulfilled dream
        For additional information, please contact: Anne-Marie Ahkine, Executive Manager, The English-Speaking Union 6th Floor, Ken Lee Building, Edith Cavell Street, Port Louis Email : esumau@intnet.mu - Tel: 208 8591 - Fax: 213 6543