x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Dubai preparing for 1,500 young finalists in weekend World Scholar's Cup

The final round of the World Scholar's Cup is taking place in Dubai and will be attended by 1,500 children from 25 nations.

DUBAI // More than 1,500 children from around the world will convene in the emirate this weekend to test their debating prowess and knowledge.

The final round of the World Scholar's Cup, a global charitable foundation that organises enrichment activities for schoolchildren, will be held at several venues in Dubai between Friday and Sunday.

Qualifying teams from 24 regional rounds in 25 nations will be pitting their skills against their counterparts in activities including a debate, collaborative writing and a quiz to win the trophy.

"The reasons Dubai was picked for the global round of the season was because the participation from here is excellent," said Jeremy Chumley, media liaison for the event. "And this is an attractive destination to host so many nations, too."

The teams will be working with the theme 'A World in Motion' to display their understanding of music, dance, literature, the science of transportation, history of migration, globalisation, and trade and tourism.

"It will be a collaborative effort for the pupils who need to work in teams as opposed to taking tests on their own," said Mr Chumley of the competition, which has been running for eight years.

"It gives them an international vibe and a broader view of the world."

A debate and collaborative writing task will be held at Dubai Modern High School and Gems Wellington Academy in Silicon Oasis on Friday. The public is invited to witness the Scholar's Bowl on Saturday, an interactive multimedia quiz where teams of pupils work together to solve puzzles against the clock.

The number of children participating from Dubai has increased over the years. This year, 450 children from schools in different emirates are participating.

Teams from China, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan, Kenya and Qatar will be joining them.

About 30 pupils from Jumeirah College (JC), which has participated four times previously, will be competing this year.

Grant Smith, an English teacher and coordinator of debating activities at JC, said the emphasis of the programme was not just on winning accolades but having fun.

"It is a non-pressured environment where the challenge is to go and learn something a little bit more," said Mr Smith. "Children can really go beyond what is in the school curriculum with this competition."

He said the competition connects different academic disciplines in a way that helps further discussion with pupils from different countries.

The final rounds of the competition will be held at the American University in Dubai from 9am onwards on Saturday.

aahmed@thenational.ae