At UWC ISAK Japan, our distinct mission is to “empower students to become transformational leaders who explore new frontiers for the greater good of Asia and beyond”. It is thus important that our students be informed and engaged with issues that are happening not just in our community, but around the world. With that in mind, during assembly on Monday, we launched the Global Issues carousel, where three students presented on topics of both global and personal importance.
Ayana (Class of 2019, Japan) introduced her peers to Japanese politics, Sara (Class of 2019, Italy) discussed the issues associated with migration, and Denzel (Class of 2019, Zimbabwe) presented about the fall of President Mugabe in his home country.
Ayana explained that having this opportunity to share her knowledge about Japanese politics was exciting because she believes that politics go beyond academics. She acknowledged that many of her peers will likely not stay in Japan forever, but that it is still beneficial to the UWC ISAK community to learn about how Japanese politics work so that they can bring that knowledge back home and compare.
The carousels ended with students being encouraged to go beyond the presentations and engage with these issues on their own time. To facilitate this, school librarian, Mrs. Fitzgerald, has put together a recommended reading list that includes books about Zimbabwe, politics in Japan and refugee/migration issues.
Global issues will be explored in a different format on December 10, when the Cultural Awareness, Peace and Interaction (CAPI) club holds an exhibition of student works focusing on humanitarian issues in honor of Human Rights Day.
“The Global Issues carousels were fantastic because we got to learn so much more about issues and problems in many places other than our own countries. Through this, I think our students were exposed to new ideas and perspectives about the world that they never thought of before. I was really surprised by how the situation in Zimbabwe would remind me of what is happening in Thailand right now, so now I start looking at the Thai government from a different perspective. Overall, I think this was such a great opportunity and it helps us become better citizens of the world.”
– Gunn (Class of 2018, Thailand)