YMCA Plain English Speaking Awards was started in 1986 by Metropolitan YMCA of Singapore. The primary aim of the Plain English Speaking Award (PESA) is to promote the effective and articulate use of plain yet attractive spoken English among secondary and pre-university students in Singapore.
The decision by the Ministry of Education to initiate a national public speaking competition leading to the Plain English Speaking Award along the lines similar to the Australian Plain English Speaking Award was prompted by an invitation in 1986 from Dr G. R. Maddocks, National Director of the Australian PESA to send a Singapore student representative to participate as a guest speaker in the Victorian State final in July 1987. Three professional bodies, namely, the Y’s Men’s Club of Singapore (Orchid Chapter), the Metropolitan YMCA and the English language Teachers’ Association (ELTAS) were approached to conduct the PESA competition in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.
A working committee comprising representatives from the Y's Men's Club (Orchid Chapter), the Metropolitan YMCA, ELTAS and the Ministry of Education was then set up in October 1986 to launch the first national PESA competition under the banner of The Metropolitan YMCA Public Speaking Competition for the "Plain English Speaking Award." The first national PESA competition was held on 23 May 1987 and was generously sponsored by ESSO Singapore.
For more information visit the official website here.
The competition is competitive.
No apparent cost to entry.
Strong English skills are required.
Website to be updated for 2020.