Students at the International School of Dhaka (ISD) recently participated in the first annual online conference of Singapore – The Hague International Model United Nations (THIMUN). Model UN provides students opportunities to develop as global learners by giving them the chance to debate over current-day global issues.

Our students have shown immense dedication towards Model UN, and this online conference was no exception. A total of ten delegates from Grades 10 and 11 of our school participated in the conference – Jannat Mynuddin, Mahdia Hussain, Arnob Datta, Razeen Hedayet, Idan Hussain, Rongan Mian, Shaira Mostofa, and Fatema Noshin Aurora Sayeed.

Besides, two students from Grade 11, Tanzif Chowdhury and Tahsin Mostofa were selected to serve as student officers for the online conference. Tanzif had served as the Head Chair of the Sustainable Development Committee (SDC), and Tahsin had served as the Deputy Chair of the Legal and Finance Committee (LFC).

I was thoroughly impressed by the engagement of our students throughout the conference. Although our students were faced with various challenges that differed from the usual face to face conference, they were able to rise to the occasion and overcome such obstacles. The delegates have been incredibly cooperative when working with international students from various Asian countries, merging resolutions and providing constructive feedback during the debate. I vividly remember visiting every committee that our delegates have been a part of and have witnessed them follow procedural matters in an identical manner that they would have done during a physical conference. They consistently raised their hand to participate and have delivered numerous points of information (POIs) and speeches to enhance the overall quality of debate at the conference.

Furthermore, the student officers at the conference displayed immense perseverance to ensure that the entire session was being conducted at a very high standard. From writing 4000-word research to attending countless student officer briefings, Tanzif and Tahsin have done it all for a successful online conference. How they commanded respect from the delegates at the conference never failed to impress me. I observed them and noticed how genuinely passionate they were about resolving world issues and the effort they put into for the delegates to have a smoother conference. During times of unprecedented conflict and challenges, Tanzif and Tahsin had successfully generated innovative solutions to tackle the issue.

As a MUN director, I am incredibly proud of our ISD students and would like to express my gratitude to every student who has participated in this conference. Although this is our first online conference as a school and the first-ever THIMUN online conference, the obstacle of a virtual conference has not diminished our students' passion. I am extremely happy for every student that participated in this online conference because it was not an easy experience, but a rather difficult challenge that has allowed everyone to grow immensely in the process.

Syeda S Razia is head of K- 12 Bengali Department, International School Dhaka