The Going Global Club (Round Square Student Representatives) of SAI International School are linking every Friday at 1:00pm (IST) via Zoom with Jr. & Sr. High School of Kogakuin University located in Tokyo, Japan. Our first session was April 9th, just a few weeks after the Lockdown was enforced in India. Guest Round Square Schools have also been included in some of the sessions. The Punjab Public School has joined in two sessions so far. Each week students pick different topics to share with each other. One week the Japanese students pick the topic and the next week the Indian students pick. In this manner the sessions are extremely interesting and as mentioned earlier completely impromptu. Every monday or tuesday the topic is shared and participating students have just a few days to prepare before Friday’s meeting. In this manner the collaboration holds a sense of mystery and excitement each week not knowing which topic will be selected. Teamwork comes into play as students collectively decide who will present and what will be presented. A bit of Democracy pops up each week when students vote on next week’s topic.
Themes shared so far have largely focused on the culture of both Japan and India. Students have presented about foods eaten in both countries including Miso Soup and Butter Chicken masala. Another session took a look at traditional clothing worn in both countries Including Sarees and Kimonos with a special mention of a new trend happening in Japan where teenagers are wearing clothing designed after Anime characters. Sports played in both countries was also covered one week and celebrations held in each respective country. Virtual classes took a twist when students had an open panel discussion on teenage freedoms. Questions ranged from “do you parents knock before they enter your room?” to “at what age did you get your first mobile phone?”. This was an especially good session allowing the participants from both countries to really get to know one another. Last week we covered famous artists from each country and learned how to write “Stay Safe Japan” and “Stay Safe India” in both Hindi and Japanese letters. Each week’s session starts out with an update on the COVID 19 situation in their respective countries. The amount of shared learning taking place cannot be measured. Students are forming friendships and learning each other’s names. After the first few meetings a close bond has formed as students start to feel more comfortable speaking with each other.
Partnerships between schools in different countries offer a foundation for the growth of a school’s syllabus and subject areas incorporating a wider global input and international perceptions. During the meetings participating students foster international dialogues, collaborative virtual classes truly develop a common understanding between the youth of today.