March 30, 2023: A prize-giving ceremony was held at the Lycée des Mascareignes on March 30 to announce the winners of the 29th edition of the Public Speaking Competition. The competition is an initiative of the English-Speaking Union (ESU), in collaboration with the U.S. Embassy to Mauritius, the British High Commission, the British Council, Curtin Mauritius, and Lycée des Mascareignes.
The goal of the annual public speaking competition is to help students to better communicate in English, build their self-confidence as a speaker, develop their writing, listening and critical thinking skills as well as their ability to respond more spontaneously to questions. The theme for this year was ‘Relations between Nations are too important to be left to Governments alone.” A total of 122 students from public and private secondary schools in Mauritius and Rodrigues participated in this edition of the public speaking competition, which ran from January to March 2023.
“The U.S. Embassy is very happy to partner with the English-Speaking Union in this competition, which promotes English language learning and effective communication skills. We are committed to support such key initiatives, which are part of the U.S. Department of State’s efforts to encourage youth empowerment and youth engagement. Past participants of the Public Speaking competition have successfully participated in the Embassy’s youth leadership programs such as the Pan Africa Youth Leadership program (PAYLP) and continue their community and civic engagement initiatives. The English-Speaking Union is a valuable partner in ensuring that the youth and educators can actively participate in our initiatives and access our exchange programs,” Jonathan Koehler, U.S. Embassy Public Affairs Officer, said during his remarks at the prize-giving ceremony.
Mr. D.K. Kevin Pather, President of ESU-Mauritius, said, “Our tagline is ‘DISCOVERING VOICES.’ And your voice will be at its most sublime when you not only speak with your mind, but – above all – with your heart and soul. This is the piece of advice I offer to you today – speak with your mind, heart, and soul. The International Public Speaking Competition is the largest public speaking tournament in the world. As President of ESU-Mauritius, I have a dream too…that our National Winner will come back to Mauritius in May with the crown as the world champion in public speaking. We did it in 2009 thanks to Sebastien Ng Kuet Leong of College du St Esprit. We can do it again.”
The ten finalists of this year’s competition were Zaynab Bibi Roheemun from GMD Atchia State College, Alexandre Raaj Bissessur and Aditya Ramessur from College du St Esprit, Kenshin Newk-Fon Hey Tow from Royal College Port Louis, Chitrishabye Govind and Satya Pavaday from Queen Elizabeth College and M. H. Suhail H.A. Thawkalkan and Neel Vaibhav Sobnack from Royal College Curepipe, Parimal Pareague from Ananias André Le Chou College, Rodrigues and Ghanishta Dhoonah from Hindu Girls’ College,
The winner of the 29th edition of ESU’s Public Speaking Competition was Mohamud Suhail An-Naas Hussain Thawkalkan from Royal College Curepipe. Satya Pavani PAVADAY from Queen Elizabeth College won the second prize. As the winner of the competition, Mohamud Suhail An-Naas Hussain Thawkalkan will represent Mauritius at the annual International Public Speaking Competition, which will be held in London in May 8-12, in person.