Ten White Dove pupils represent Nigeria at General Assembly
THE stage is set for the main bowl of the United Nations (UN) assembly chambers to receive over 3,000 students’ diplomats for this year’s international High School Model United Nations conference starting today. Flying the country’s colours at the largest world assembly of young people are 10 pupils of the White Dove Schools, Lekki, Lagos State.
Model United Nations, also known as Model UN is an educational simulation and academic competition in which students can learn about diplomacy, international relations, and the UN system. The competition involves and teaches researching, public speaking, debating, and writing skills, in addition to critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership abilities.
Participants, known as delegates, are placed in committees and assigned countries, or occasionally other organizations or political figures, where they represent members of that body. They are presented with their assignments in advance, along with topics that their committee will discuss.
Delegates conduct research before conferences and formulate positions that they will then debate with their fellow delegates in the committee, staying true to the actual position of the member they represent. At the end of a conference, the best-performing delegates in each committee, as well as delegations, are sometimes recognized with awards.
Already, members of the Nigerian delegation, which includes Chinene Okeke, Tolulope Taiwo, Opawole Titofunmi, Julius Wallace Ogunese, and Olaeke Christopher, among others, are in top gear to push the frontiers of development issues in their adopted country of Carpe Verde.
For the past few weeks, it’s been intense preparation for the selected students, involving research, debates, role-play, and disagreeing to agree on global issues with local relevance. And they set out in high expectations of doing their parents, school, and country proud by not just being a spectator at the world forum of ideas but active participants.
In a chat with The Guardian shortly before their departure, the students expressed high hopes of making meaningful impacts through their incisive contributions and debates. “I feel great being a diplomat though the burden of advocating for millions of people is a scary thought but we have been well-prepared for the big occasion,” Opawole said.
Vice Principal of the White Dove Schools, Mr. Olayeye Daniel Ehuwa, said the objective of the school’s participation, established in 2004, is to fulfill her vision of becoming a global Christian school that integrates academic and moral excellence in her bid to raise purposeful future leaders.
“This is our third participation at the conference. The experience has been wonderful. We want to raise world leaders. The conference will give our students the platform and exposure to learn the rudiments of leadership at a global stage. We want them to be solutions to world problems by teaching them early to be world citizens and thinkers.
“The gains of our participation are to boost the students’ research skills because it involves a lot of research on the issues they will be deliberating on. They will be acting as diplomats. It will also help their presentation, public speaking and negotiation skills. They will learn the ability to work in a team because they will be working in different committees,” he said.