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ACSian Theatre and ACJC Debates go to India

From the 17th to the 22nd of March, ACSian Theatre and ACJC Debate participated in a drama and debate exchange with Mahatma Montessori School. One of the top-ranked schools in Madurai, India, Mahatma has a long tradition of academic excellence in state and national examinations.

ACSian Theatre held an interactive dance workshop and a performance for both the students and the teachers. The dance session was conducted by Raj, who choreographed the dances for Cinderella in 2012. The children, by the grace of God, were enthusiastic and ready to learn, which made the experience all the more enjoyable. In total, we taught a total of three dances over three days. During each session, the children's energy level never died and their willingness to learn touched all of our hearts.

The performance side was new as most of us were not used to traveling performances. While we were thrown off by the foreign stage and some technical difficulties, we managed to regain our momentum and put on a performance worthy of our lovely audience.
Overall, this trip was and eye-opening experience that pushed our boundaries and encouraged self-discovery. We hope that the impression we made will last in the hearts of the children and teachers of Mahatma School.
The ACJC Debate and Oratorical Society also sent a contingent of 7 debaters to the joint exchange. We aimed to share public speaking and argumentative skills with the students at Mahatma School, which would enable them to debate intelligently about Indian and global issues. We also held an exhibition debate, where the Mahatma students and staff voted for the winner.
Throughout the four days of the exchange, we were thoroughly impressed by the enthusiasm and political awareness of the students in the school. At every opportunity, the students would enthusiastically volunteer to share their views on issues as diverse as school uniforms for students, to single-sex schools and Indian and Singaporean history.
The workshops we conducted over the three days proved to be an eye-opening experience to the realities of the Indian educational and political landscape. They also helped us grow as debaters by forcing us to adapt our coaching styles to a different schooling culture. We learnt many lessons from our interaction with the staff and students of Mahatma and were inspired by their enthusiasm. We are glad for the chance to make a contribution to the advancement of debating in Mahatma School.
Both ACSian Theatre and Debate are greatly indebted to the unending hospitality of Mahatma’s staff and students, who did all they could to welcome us and immerse us in the culture of Tamil Nadu. We are also grateful for the guidance of our teachers and alumni who traveled with us and supported us every step of the way. To God Be the Glory, for the Best Is Yet To Be !
Rabin Kok and Cara Lee