When Ishaan Singh took up the role as Head of the Junior Model United Nations (MUN) club in Strawberry Fields High School, he designed a project that would benefit his own community. He mentored 85 young children on the debates that take place during an MUN conference, and he gave them a more in-depth understanding about this popular extra-curricular activity.
‘‘I wanted them to be better at it, because if they are better at it, they will enjoy it more and it will elevate the level of discourse in our region, as we will have more well-trained Model United Nations conference-goers.’’
He gave the students homework tasks such as essay prompts, mock debates and mock conferences, and gave them speech advice to help them boost their presentation skills. ‘Model United Nations was a passion of mine from the beginning of high school, and the reason why I did this as my CAS project was because I wanted to impart skills which a lot of students, like myself, didn’t have the opportunity to develop. I had to learn these skills as I went along’’ he says.
Strawberry Fields High School, an IB World School in Chandigarh, India firmly believes in inclusivity. They believe that every child deserves an equal opportunity to learn, while feeling supported, encouraged and guided. After India’s Right to Education (RTE) came into force in 2010, the school has been diligently admitting 25% of students from economically weaker sections of society through a fair and transparent draw of lots system of selection.
The school currently offers free and inclusive education to 320 children.
“One of the biggest challenges we face is being able to provide a level playing field for all of our students. We’ve built a community where parents and students have stepped in with donations of books, uniforms, playing equipment, refreshments and subsidised charges for school trips and visits.” says Atul Khanna, Director of Strawberry Fields High School.
At a time where access to quality education in India is challenging, Strawberry Fields High School is an excellent example of how private schools can have a positive impact on their community. Their commitment to accessibility and inclusion, combined with the IB’s education framework and its commitment to develop responsible and compassionate world citizens, makes it a force to be reckoned with.
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