The treatment of domestic workers by local employers provided the subject for a heated debate between two schools this week. Six students from Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Kap Yan Directors' College and HKFEW Wong Cho Bau Secondary School slugged it out at the Mariners' Club in Tsim Sha Tsui in a debating competition jointly organised by the South China Morning Post and the Native English-speaking Teachers' Association. The grand finale of the ninth Nesta-SCMP Debating Competition was the culmination of a 14-month-long contest which attracted 55 teams from 51 secondary schools. The motion was 'that the system of domestic helpers as practised in Hong Kong is a form of modern day slavery', and the cut-and-thrust of the duel involving the six budding orators kept the audience on the edge of their seats. Kap Yan Directors' College students, who spoke for the motion, finally beat their opponents to win the championship. Form Six student Connie Yip Yin-lam, 17, who also won the award for best speaker, said they were surprised at their victory. 'We did a lot of research before the final,' she said. 'Their low wages, possible abuse by employers and inadequate legal protection puts the local domestic workers in a vulnerable position.' Nesta chairman Perry Bayer said the annual debate could help improve performances in oral exams.