Sunday, August 24, 2014

NUDC 2014: Key Results

Champion: #1 Universitas Indonesia (Dennys Kapa & Aulia Anggita)
Finalists: #2 Binus University (Rivera Kathrin & Marchella Febriyanti), #4 Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indriani Pratwi & Wida Wahyuni), #7 Universitas Sanata Dharma (Sekartiyasa Kusumastuti & Tethy Pesoa)
Best Speaker: Dennys Kapa (Universitas Indonesia)
Best Novice Team: Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Novarian Budi & Husna Amirah)
Best Novice Speaker: Ida Ayu Pradnya Paramita (Universitas Udayana)

NUDC 2014 Best Speaker - Dennys Kapa (UI)
Top 10 Speakers:
1. Dennys Kapa (Universitas Indonesia)
2. Indriani Pratiwi (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
3. Aulia Anggita (Universitas Indonesia)
4. Wida Wahyuni (Universitas Gadjah Mada)
4. Rivera Kathrin (Binus University)
6. Muhammad Luthfi (Institut Teknologi Bandung)
7. Marchella Febriyanti (Binus University)
7. Saagar Teckchandani (Universitas Pelita Harapan)
9. Aulia Widyaputra (Institut Teknologi Bandung)
10. Aliefah Saras (Universitas Paramadina)
10. Tethy Pesoa (Universitas Sanata Dharma)

NUDC 2014: UI Wins First Title, Breaks Binus Streak

NUDC 2014 Champ - UI (Dennys Kapa & Aulia Anggita)
Universitas Indonesia has the most successful debating society in the country with a room full of trophies from all major nationwide debate tournaments bar one - the National Universities Debating Championship (NUDC), the top school-based British Parliamentary contest. That void finally has been filled. #1 UI (Dennys Kapa & Aulia Anggita) won the 2014 NUDC last night after defending the final motion that proposed Indonesia should invest more in the arms industry.

UI dashed the hope of #2 Binus University (Rivera Kathrin & Marchella Febriyanti) that were bent on grabbing the fourth consecutive title for the Jakarta-based school. The other finalists were #4 Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indriani Pratiwi & Wida Wahyuni) and #7 Universitas Sanata Dharma (Sekartiyasa Kusumastuti & Tethy Pesoa), which both came from Yogyakarta. The UI, Binus and Sanata Dharma, the top three in the final, are eligible for funding to go to the 2015 World Universities Debating Championships in Malaysia.

UI's Dennys Kapa came out as the best speaker of the tournament, a title that last went to an UI debater in 2012. He graduated from a high school in Kupang, the capital of East Nusa Tenggara province, one of the most impoverished provinces in Indonesia. Today's victory crowned his years of national success that include two ALSA UI championship titles, the last one won with her NUDC partner Aulia Anggita. He is an example how a debater from a non-Java high school can excel on the national stage when he can find a suitable institution and receive a supporting environment to train and enhance his skills.

In the novice category, Institut Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember (Novarian Budi & Husna Amirah) from East Java came out triumphant after defeating three non-Java teams Universitas Andalas, Universitas Muhammadiyah Sumatera Utara and Universitas Mulawarman. The best novice speaker award went Ida Ayu Pradnya Paramita from Universitas Udayana Bali, who was a member of Team Indonesia in the 2013 World Schools Debating Championships. The former high school debating star is an example of a talented non-Java debater who decided to stay in her home province after graduation. Udayana reached all the way to the main quarterfinal.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

NUDC 2014: Underdog Sanata Dharma Slips into Female-Dominated Final

#7 Universitas Sanata Dharma (Tethy Pesoa & Sekartiyasa Kusumastuti) advanced into the grand final of the 2014 National Universities Debating Championship, scoring the school's first appearance at the penultimate debate of a major nationwide competition. In the debate for the national title, they will face three powerhouses, #1 Universitas Indonesia (Aulia Anggita & Dennys Kapa), #4 Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indriani Pratiwi & Wida Wahyuni) and #2 Binus University (Rivera Kathrin & Marchella Febriyanti), which are bent on securing the fourth win in a row for their Jakarta-based school. The final is also unique due to the gender composition. UI's Dennys Kapa will be the only male debater in the final, revealing the female domination in NUDC 2014.  

NUDC 2014: All-Java Semifinal Again. Can Binus Win Four Titles in a Row?

The 8 teams in the semifinals of the 2014 National Universities Debating Championships are all from Java-based institutions, including Binus University Jakarta that has held the title for the last three years. The geographical hegemony has stood although the education ministry this year expanded the number of participation to 112 from 96 that gave 16 more slots to non-Java institutions. 

In the first semifinal, reigning champion #2 Binus University (Rivera Kathrin & Marchella Febriyanti) must overcome challenges from #7 Universitas Sanata Dharma (Sekartiyasa Kusumastuti & Tethy Pesoa), #3 Universitas Pelita Harapan (Saagar Teckchandani & Dharma Dwitama Harja) and #14 Universitas Padjadjaran (Erfan Supradhono & Omar Azfar) if they want to secure their fourth title in as many years. The two last teams eliminated one of the tournament's favourite, NUDC 2009 champion #6 Institut Teknologi Bandung.

In the second semifinal the country's two top powerhouses, #1 Universitas Indonesia (Aulia Anggita & Dennys Kapa) and #4 Universitas Gadjah Mada (Indriani Pratiwi & Wida Wahyuni), will clash along with #12 Universitas Brawijaya (Zelly Sidi Zamzami & Fahri Akbar) and #16 Universitas Ahmad Dahlan (Muhammad Iqwan & Karjongko). The semifinal motion reads "This House Believes That People Have the Right to be Forgotten".

UI debaters have secured the right to receive state financing for their participation in the 2015 World Universities Debating Championship after they broke first into the knockouts. More WUDC funding packages will go to three NUDC 2014 finalists. The ongoing national BP tournament is taking place at Universitas Batam in the Riau Islands.    

Non-Java squads Universitas Syiah Kuala from Aceh and Bali's Universitas Udayana gave spirited challenges in the quarterfinals but came short from becoming the first from outside of the main island to reach the top 8. Aceh and Bali, provinces that have won the national high school championship before, have strong squads at the pre-varsity level but their universities need to attract those talented debaters to stay home to extend success into varsity level. Some debaters from those provinces are now debating for UI.

However, it was also refreshing to see there was a team from far eastern Indonesia, Universitas Pattimura from Ambon, in the octofinal although they could not advance into the top 16. That shows serious training, including from organizations like On That Point that try to empower disadvantaged regions, can make a difference. This issue has nothing to do with race, ethnicity or any other personal background. The best Indonesian debaters are hard working individuals who come from all kinds of social groups. The matter is institutional. It is about how institutions and institutionalized training can provide the right exercise, materials and environment for eager debaters to enhance their skills and knowledge. Without them, even the most talented with the gift of the gab would never shine on the debating stage. 

Saturday, August 16, 2014

WSDC 2014: Key Results & Motions

Here are the key results from the 2014 World Schools Debating Championships, the most prestigious high school debating tournament this year. The numbers in the brackets after a team name follow this order: post-tournament position, place after 8 preliminary rounds, pre-tournament rank and group. WSDC uses a 3-on-3 format but each team can have up to 5 members and rotate their turns. Only speakers who debated at least 4 times in the prelims can enter the top individual list.

Champions: England (#1/#3/#2/A) -- 4th trophy
(Will Cook, Louis Collier, Eleanor Shearer, Sam Feinburg)

Finalists: South Africa (#2/#1/#4/A) -- 2nd appearance in GF
(Josh Broomberg, Samuel Musker, Saadiyah Mayet, Kate Dewey, Rachel Gardiner)

Best ESL Team: Peru (#6/#9/#24/D)
Best EFL Team: Netherlands (#7/#10/#7/B)

Top 10 Speakers
  1. Will Cook (England)
  2. Jane Carroll (Australia)
  3. James Stratton (Australia)
  4. Chin Wee Lee (Singapore)
  5. Josh Broomberg (South Africa)
  6. Kuan Hian Tan (Singapore)
  7. Samuel Musker (South Africa)
  8. Louis Collier (England)
  9. Eleanor Shearer (England)
  10. Sam Feinburg (England)
Best English-as-Second Language Speaker: Nishanth Selvalingam (Malaysia)
Best English-as-Foreign Language Speaker: Regina Cara Riantoputra (Indonesia)

R0: THW Ban Children from Becoming Professional Models
R1: THW Ban Unpaid Internships
R2: THBT Only Liberal Democracies Should Host International Sporting Events
R3: THW Allow Prisoners to Volunteer for Drug Trials in Exchange for a Lighter Sentence
R4: THBT Post-Revolution States Should Delegate Trials of Former Rulers and High Ranking Officials to the ICC
R5: THBT Slum Tourism Does More Than Good
R6: THW Disallow Unvaccinated Children from Attending Public Schools
R7: THW Lift Tax Exemptions from Religious Institutions that Refuse to Recognize Marriage Equality
R8: THW Remove All Patents on Green Technology
Octofinal: THW not Prosecute Defamation
Quarterfinal: THBT Labour Unions are Becoming Obsolete
Semifinal: THBT Drone Strikes are a Legitimate Tool of Foreign Policy
Final: THBT an ASEAN Political Union is an Impossible Dream  

WSDC 2014: Team Indonesia Return with Awesome Accolades, New Records

WSDC 2014 Best EFL Speaker Regina Cara with Thai host  
#11 Indonesia came out of the 2014 World Schools Debating Championship  in Thailand with a trail of new national records and Regina Cara Riantoputra snatching the top EFL speaker title. The SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan debater, who has been winning awards for her school for years, was the team's star as she debated in all matches in WSDC Bangkok, making her presence widely known in the world's top high school debating event.

The 2014 team now hold almost all pf the Indonesian WSDC records, some without match. They are the Indonesian team with the most wins ever. The 2014 team won 6 out of 8 mandatory WSDC rounds, enabling Indonesia to break into the octofinal for the first time since 2004. They matched a 10-year record of breaking into the WSDC knockouts set by the 2003 and 2004 teams, which were made up by almost the same debaters.  Moreover, they bested the score of the 2003 and 2004 teams that also reached the octofinal but both 'only' had 5 preliminary wins. The 2014 team equaled the 2003's record #11 position. Only 16 teams can advance into the WSDC knockouts.

Reaching the quarterfinal stage is still an elusive feat for Team Indonesia. In the recent tournament's octofinal, WSDC 2013 champion Australia stopped Team Indonesia's amazing journey that included wins over Greece, Sweden, Romania Turkey, Estonia and 2012 finalist Wales. 

Cara, however, reached a place where no Indonesian has gone before. She entered the elite Top 20 club after she ranked 17th on the overall speaker list. That club is usually populated by debaters from countries that have won WSDC before. This year, only Cara and a Malaysian debater who broke into the party. She is now the Indonesian WSDC debater with the highest rank so far. Her team mate John Amadeo Daniswara from Raffles International School Jakarta also slipped into the Top 50 main speaker list and ended at #39. This is the first time two Indonesian speakers could enter that honourable group in the same year.

Individually, only two Indonesians had made it into the Top 50 list before WSDC 2014. Siti Astrid Kusumawardhani was the first one when she was ranked 49th in 2003. Two years later in WSDC Calgary, her sister Siti Soraya Cassandra ranked five notches higher at #44. Cara and John broke that record in Bangkok. Cara also became the first Indonesian to top the EFL speaker list with team mate Alif Azadi from SMA Modal Bangsa Aceh coming at 6th on that list. John could not enter the EFL list due to his international school background but ranked 6th on the English-as-Second-Language speaker list. The only record that still stands is Cassandra's speaker score of 72.47, which is only 0.1 higher than Cara's.           

The other members of Team Indonesia in WSDC 2014 were Marsa Harisa from SMA 9 Yogyakarta and Kevin Bonaparte from SMA 17 Makassar. Although they debated less than the previous trio, the duo played a vital role in the construction of the cases. All members of the team, which range from 3 to 5 debaters, can be involved in casebuilding although only three are allowed to debate in one match. Coaches have the chance to rotate the debating lineup throughout the tournament. This year's coaches were Australs 2011 ESL champions Subarkah Syafruddin and Riza Aryani, who have graduated from Universitas Indonesia. 

WSDC 2014: Title Goes to England, Indonesia Debater Best EFL Speaker

WSDC 2014 Champion - England
#3 England (Will Cook, Eleanor Shearer, Sam Feinburg, Louis Collier) won the 2014 World Schools Debating Championships in Bangkok, giving their country its fourth title from the most prestigious high school debate competition on the planet. Team Indonesia came home with the best EFL speaker award after an astonishing performance by a Banten high school debating star.

In the final that had England oppose the motion 'This House Believes That an ASEAN Political Union is an Impossible Dream', the eventual champion dashed the hope of  #1 South Africa (Saadiyah Mayet, Kate Dewey, Josh Broomberg, Rachel Gardiner, Samuel Musker) to become the first champion from the continent of Africa. England's Will Cook took home the best speaker award.

WSDC 2014 turned out to be a tournament of surprises. The teams that debated in the WSDC 2012 final, Scotland and Wales, failed to advance. In the top 16, there were 6 Asian teams - Malaysia, Indonesia, China, Pakistan, Singapore and the Philippines. Indonesia, which had never broken in the last decade, advanced with 6 wins, the most ever scored by a team from the country. China broke for the first time ever. South Africa, which has never won WSDC, topped the preliminary tab with 8 wins and 23 judge points, short one ballot from perfect. They continued to convince all judges in knockout rounds before the final. Triumphant England stopped that incredible run after a 7-2 split decision.  

#9 Peru ranked as the Best English-as-Second-Language Team with Nishant Selvalingam from Malaysia topping the ESL speaker list. #10 Netherlands exited the tournament as the Best English-as-Foreign-Language Team with SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan Regina Cara Riantoputra snatching the top EFL speaker title. She is the first Indonesian to officially win that title. Last year, another Indonesian debater was announced to get that award but the organizers had to give it to another speaker after the eventual winner's language status was corrected. The next tournament will take place in Singapore, the only Asian country with a WSDC title. 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

WSDC 2014: Best Team Indonesia Ever with 6 Wins and 16 Judge Points

Team Indonesia in WSDC 2014 at Assumption University Bangkok (l to r) : Riza Aryani (coach), Kevin Bonaparte (SMA 17 Makassar), Alif Azadi (SMA Modal Bangsa Aceh), John Amadeo (Raffles International School Jakarta), Regina Cara Riantoputra (SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan), Marsa Harisa (SMA 9 Yogyakarta), Subarkah Syafruddin (coach)
Team Indonesia advanced into the octofinals of the 2014 World Schools Debating Championships in Bangkok with 6 wins and 2 losses, the best ever record by the country's high school debaters. Indonesia had only broken twice before, in 2003 and 2004, both times with a 5-3 record in the 8-round mandatory stage. The 2010 team also won 5 times in the preliminaries but came short from breaking.

In the preliminaries, Team Indonesia defeated 6 European squads - Sweden, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Estonia and an English-as-first-language team Wales, which reached the final of WSDC in 2012. They only lost to WSDC 2010 champion Canada and United Arab Emirates. Team Indonesia broke as the 11th team on the list, equalling the rank of the WSDC 2003 squad. Indonesia's upset win over Wales made the latter fail to break in the end but it was not the only favourite that collapsed. Former champions Scotland and the United States also could not qualify into the Top 16.

Team Indonesia 2014 consist of Alif Azadi (SMA Modal Bangsa Aceh), Kevin Bonaparte (SMA 17 Makassar), Marsa Harisa (SMA 9 Yogyakarta), Regina Cara Riantoputra (SMA 2 Tangerang Selatan) and John Amadeo (Raffles International Christian School Jakarta). Their overall speaker score was quite high, indicating some of them may enter the top 50 speaker list. Only two Indonesians have entered that illustrious list - sisters Siti Astrid Kusumawardhani and Siti Soraya Cassandra in 2003 and 2005, respectively.

Their coaches are Australs ESL champion Subarkah Syafruddin, an Universitas Indonesia alumnus who guided Team Indonesia to respectable 4-4 finishes in WSDC 2012 and 2013, and his Australs teammate and fellow UI graduate Riza Aryani. The coaches fought for the provision of the fifth seat in the team for a debater who comes from outside the education ministry system of selection.

That fifth member, John Amadeo who comes from an English-speaking school, was an integral part of the success. The two girls in the squad, Regina Cara Riantoputra and Marsa Harisa, are well-known high school debating stars with numerous best speaker awards. Team Indonesia 2014 also had two non-Java debaters, Kevin Bonaparte from South Sulawesi and Alif Azadi from Aceh, who showed there should be no barriers for debaters in Indonesia to excel if they work hard to enhance their skills through rigorous training.

But this is not new. Non-Java debaters have been a vital part of the WSDC squads since Indonesia first joined the competition in 2001. The first Team Indonesia was even captained by a student from West Kalimantan. Time and again, non-Java high school debaters have proven they can compete with the rest. However, almost all of the non-Java WSDC debaters ended up debating for Java-based universities. This is the Indonesian debating world's brain drain issue that should start from making non-Java educational institutions attractive for these high school stars.

In the octofinal, Team Indonesia had to end their amazing journey in the hands of defending champions Australia, which later fell in the quarterfinal. Although WSDC 2014 has become the tournament of upsets with favourites exiting early, the semifinal debates had four English-as-first-language teams. The final will be between undefeated #1 South Africa, which is bent on becoming Africa's first WSDC champion, and #3 England, the three-time winner.