Our college’s commemoration of International Friendship Day (IFD) 2022 took place in the context of the war between Ukraine and Russia. Through an exploration of the situation in Ukraine, students learnt about the geopolitical tensions and vulnerabilities that small states face. A key learning point was the importance of standing firm in upholding international law and agreements while maintaining good relationships with other countries.
Both JC1 and JC2 students were first invited using the Line Continuum, to come forward to the board, or via the online platform Mentimeter, to indicate their stand, and share their responses to the trigger question, ‘In light of what you know of the situation in Ukraine, on a scale of 1 to 5, how concerned are you about what has happened and why?’.
Students gained awareness of what was happening in Ukraine through a video shown of the dire situation in Mariupol and reflected upon whether various aspects of invasion and human rights violations taking place there were justified. Student perspectives were the key focus of this IFD Civics lesson series, and through candid discussions and sharing, both cohorts learnt about and discussed the impact of the Ukraine-Russia war on Singapore. A video speech of Singapore’s UN representative at the UN Assembly General Assembly condemning Russia’s invasion, was also screened for students, and besides thinking about why Singapore and many countries say that the invasion of Ukraine was wrong, students were asked to think about what they can do, to continue to safeguard our sovereignty in the areas of digital, military and psychological defence as well as economic cooperation. Last but not least, the students learnt about the importance of charting our own national course based on upholding consistent principles with our long-term national interests in mind, building up a strong defence, and that all of us have a crucial role to play in maintaining domestic unity and cohesion.
Both cohorts were also engaged in post-lesson IFD Engagement activities designed by students from the Community Engagement Council (CEC) and International Current Affairs Society (ICAS). Prizes were awarded to the top winners.