CamDEBATE Championship to be hosted in Cambodia to Enhance Young People’s Debate and Public Speaking Skills

By I’mACE Team

In 2019 Cambodia will host, for the first time, a world-class showcase of the ability of young people to debate and speak publicly in English.

The Cambodia International Debate & Public Speaking Championship Series (CamDEBATE) is a premiere platform for professional development in debate and public speaking in English. Underwritten by IDP Education, a world leader in international education and student placement, CamDEBATE aims to cultivate a healthy culture of dialogue and the sharing of different perspectives to foster understanding, friendship and knowledge among young people in Cambodia.

“CamDEBATE seeks to facilitate the open exchange of ideas among Cambodian students and young professionals, and is committed to encouraging and promoting civil discourse. It is also a platform to develop important skills that benefit participants’ academic journeys, personal development and career prospects”, said Mao Sreng, Country Director, IDP Education (Cambodia). Contestants will have the opportunity to engage in a series of exchanges of views in a dynamic atmosphere, from the initial Audition Round to the Elimination Round, the Semi-final Round and, lastly, the Final Round. Accordingly, they will explore and acquire extensive knowledge on important local and international issues.

As Cambodia has continued to develop at a rapid rate, with its GDP having been at about 7% for more than a decade, the demand for quality education has also grown exponentially. It is estimated that approximately 65% of the country’s population is under the age of 30, which makes for a huge demand for education. Technical, creative, critical thinking, presentation and problem-solving skills are among the important skill sets that young Cambodians are developing to ensure their competitiveness in the job market, and to be able to realise their professional ambitions.


To date, more than 18 schools, universities, debate clubs, companies and other institutions have partnered with CamDEBATE. These include ACE, IELTS Cambodia, the Institute of Foreign Languages (IFL), Norton University, Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia (PUC), Western University, Beltei International University, Aii Language Center, Westline School, American University of Phnom Penh (AUPP), University of Cambodia (UC), Angkor University, Mean Cheay University and University of South-East Asia, as well as the Cambridge Education Group, which consists of Stafford House, CATS College and ONCAMPUS.

“IELTS is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test used for international education, work and migration. With over 3 million tests taken last year, IELTS is accepted by 10,000 institutions worldwide. IELTS Cambodia is proud to be a sponsor of CamDEBATE and to be helping make a positive impact on young people in Cambodia, as this directly aligns with our core values”, said Neil Wilford, IELTS Cambodia.

CamDEBATE Manager, Thanin Yous, believes that CamDEBATE will encourage young people to learn independently, and to research and form opinions on complex topics. Ultimately, this will contribute to the development of well-rounded individuals, very much complementing the efforts of the MoEYS to build quality human capital. He anticipates approximately 300 contestants for the 2019 championship, coming from different schools, universities, private companies, civil society and the general public.

“Cambridge Education Group and our Stafford House colleagues are looking forward to hosting the 10 winners of the 2019 CamDEBATE Championship here in the United Kingdom. I’m sure they will have a fun, enriching and memorable experience during their two weeks in the UK”, said Leigh McIntyre, Director, Stafford House Deputy Global Sales, Cambridge Education Group.


Contestants will be provided with training and up-skilling sessions, so that they are better technically prepared for the competition. These sessions will be facilitated by experienced teachers and mentors from CamDEBATE partner institutions, including the Australian Centre for Education (ACE).

“CamDEBATE provides an opportunity to individuals who wish to engage in debate and public speaking in English to showcase their proficiency and increase their fluency. I believe contestants will have a rewarding experience even if they don’t win the championship. ACE is pleased to support such a wonderful initiative in Cambodia”, said Ashley Irving, Principal, ACE.

Contests can choose to participate in the debate category, the public speaking category or both. Ten champions will be awarded a medal, trophy and 2-week study tour to the United Kingdom, among other prizes.

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