The competition has been organised by the Student Learning Specialist at the Tonga Campus
as a learning initiative to help students develop, cultivate and build characteristics such as self-confidence, academic curiosity, team work spirit and public speaking. This initiative is expected to extend and become an inter-tertiary event beginning next year that will include all tertiary institutions in Tonga.
The debate is sponsored by Bank of South Pacific Tonga Limited who have donated a cash prize of $2000 Tongan pa’anga. The winners receive $1000 and the second prize is $800. The overall Best Debater receives $200.
also secured a $2250 sponsorship from Digicel Tonga for TV broadcasting of the Debate, including Pool rounds and the final, enabling viewers from around Tonga, including the outer islands, to watch the debate competition live from their homes.
Director, Dr Robin Havea, said the debate competition is important to USP in a number of ways, however, foremost is what the students gain from it.
“It is an opportunity for the students to build their self-confidence, critical mindedness, respect, patience, public speaking, and argument construction. It is not an easy exercise to raise a decent, convincing and appealing argument with someone in front of a crowd and this is a great opportunity for the students to practice. It will prepare them to become better citizens once they leave USP,” he said.
Acting Chief Executive Officer of Digicel Tonga, Ms. Ragigia Dawai said, “This debate is the perfect opportunity for us to get like-minded people to discuss topical issues/matters that is aligned to Digicel’s strategic imperatives.”
Marketing Manager of Bank of South Pacific Tonga Limited, Mr. Salesi Fineanganofo said,
“We respect, value and support the communities in which we operate because we belong to these communities,”
“BSP takes pride in supporting professional groups, organisations and worthy causes that are important to our customers, employees and people throughout the Pacific. BSP has built partnerships with various organising committees, events and charities who champion cultural unity, professional development, environment sustainability, education, sports, health and wellbeing.”
Speaking on behalf of the student body, the President of the Student Association, Miss Robin Napa’a stated, “Through the debate competition students will see the power of compelling evidence in action and the reason why their arguments are on different side. It teaches them the skills and experience of researching, organising and presenting information. It will encourage students in teamwork and developing effective speech and delivery.”
The panel of judges for Pool A were Dr. Robin Havea (Campus Director), Ms. Marcellina Rose Wolfgramm Ha’apai (Country Head BSP Bank Tonga), Mr. Siosifa Pomana (Marketing Manager, Digicel Tonga) and Dr. Teukava Finau (Fellow- Institute of Education
). For Pool B the panel of judges included Dr. Robin Havea (Campus Director), Mr. Salesi Fineanganofo (Marketing Manager-Bank of South Pacific Tonga Limited), Ms. Kasatolo Mailangai, (Customer Care Manager, Digicel Tonga) and Dr. Teukava Finau- Fellow with the Institute of Education
. The semifinals were judged by Dr. ‘Uhilamoelangi Fasi (Project Consultant), Mr. Viliami Hia (Manager of Loans Management Unit- BSP Bank Tonga), Ms. Ragigia Dawai, Acting CEO Digicel Tonga and Ms. ‘Ana Ve’ehala, SAS Officer- USP-Tonga Campus
director, Dr. Robin Havea, staff and students are appreciative of the financial assistance from Bank of South Pacific Limited and Digicel Tonga providing this as incentive for students to participate in the Debate Competition. Tonga Campus
is looking forward to building this existing collaboration into the future.