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Spotlight on Global Goals at Bangkok Prep’s International Day

Bangkok Preparatory and Secondary International School is located in the heart of Bangkok, Thailand, and on 10th November 2015 we held our annual International Day. This was a whole school event where both the Primary and Secondary school was involved. The Secondary School focused on working in groups to learn and discuss the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Several members of the Sixth Form voluntarily helped out in the Primary school for International Day or were part of the media team, taking pictures and capturing the activities of the day. In Primary, each class was turned into a different country, and the children explored the history, culture and traditions of each nation. Seeing each student dressed in traditional garb from their home country helped us to realize the true diversity of the nationalities in our school!  

For the Secondary School, our day began with a stirring address by Ms. Ramya Vivekanandan from UNESCO Bangkok who told us more about international institutions, explained the formation of the SDGs and argued about the importance of education. After the speech, the Secondary School was split into different groups of mixed ages and allocated one of the 17 Global goals. Each group was to be assessed on: teamwork; the quality of research; our strategies to achieve the goal; how we can apply our ideas to our school; and lastly, the creativity of our end products. The groups were also all given distinct mediums to present their goals. The mediums included: creating posters/displays, producing a theatrical performance, holding a debate, constructing a website and filming a documentary. We chose to use different Medias as we wanted to diversify how we approached each goal to make our final products as interesting and unique as possible so other students would be more willing to listen and take part. For example, our team was given the 16th Global Goal - “Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions”- and we were told to create a documentary. Although this specific task required a lot of effort and time, our team worked tirelessly to complete the task in time, and we were pleased by the end result. This couldn’t have been possible without the amount of teamwork, enthusiasm and commitment shown in our group.

The group leaders allocated each team member a job, to ensure that everyone was getting involved and had a time limit for when it had to be done. We also used a variety of resources, whether this was from the Internet or the library books that were kindly provided for us. For our global goal, we looked at conflicts around the world (e.g. the civil war in Syria) as well as corruption in different countries, and compared how the world would be a much better place for us all without this violence and injustice. In our documentary, we also went over the basics of what peace and justice mean, and what the world would be like without them. Also, we discussed the aim of this goal, which was to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels. To take it a step further, we looked at how we could apply this to our school. In this regard we came up with ideas such as raising money for people suffering in wars, creating community forums to educate the public as well as ourselves on this serious issue and most importantly, spread the word through social media- the most influential platform for our generation.

Towards the end of the day we held a showcase where groups were allowed to view each other’s final products and make notes in our booklets, as well as ask any questions that we may have about their work. This was a truly eye-opening experience for all of us, as we were able to look at the amazing works that the other groups had created and at the same time learn about some of the goals we haven’t had much knowledge of beforehand. Looking at these groups helped us realize the staggering issues that need attention and focus, and made us reflect on the different ways in which our school could be involved. Creating these products and working in groups was an exciting and fun experience, especially because we got to work with people we haven’t worked with before all across the Secondary school. It helped us build several skills that would aid us in the future, like being good team workers and communicators with new people.

Finally at the end of the day we had an award show where the winning group was decided. The Group 3 won with their artwork based on the 13th Goal - “Climate Action”. Group 3 discussed the past, present, and future concerns about the climate issues. They also named a few countries who suffered immensely from climate change. The group worked extremely well together as everyone got involved and had a task to complete: KS3 focused on researching useful information and KS4/5 took on the role of leading, organizing the tasks, doing the artwork and coming up with presentation ideas. Their finished product was colourful and incredibly detailed; in the centre of the display was an eye with the UN logo as the iris, with “climate action” written in the centre. The display was divided into four sections, each one with colours and patterns representing a season of the year. The different sections provided information about the past, present and future. The excellent organization, delegation of tasks, creativity and dynamic teamwork led to the team’s triumph.

Our International Day was a great success; it allowed us to explore different cultures as well as address and try to help solve the pressing issues that are occurring all over the world.  As students, we believe it is crucial that young people today need to be aware of the crises the world faces, so that later in life we can assist in solving these issues. We therefore encourage all schools to hold an International Day, so more students all around the world can begin to find new ways of solving these problems to create a brighter future for this planet because after all, we are the politicians, peacekeepers and problem solvers of tomorrow.  

For more information, please contact Ramya Vivekanandan [r.vivekanandan(at)] at the Education Policy and Reform Unit

Written by Bangkok Prep’s Year 12 students (Punn Chatupanyachotkiul, Sarah Williams, Ann Pavinee Langenskiold, Lily Wong, Jenny Feeney, Victoria Avila and Gwyneth Cloa)

Related Links:

• Bangkok Prep 

• Sustainable Development Goals