Focus on current world affairs at Earlston High

Earlston High School UN day
Earlston High School UN day

SEVEN schools representing 13 countries were in Earlston on Tuesday – for the town’s high school was hosting its first model United Nations conference.

Nearly 100 young people from as far afield as Glasgow and Edinburgh converged at the secondary for a Borders’ first.

Modern studies teacher Richard Burrell said: “This is the first event of its kind to be held in a Borders school and it allowed pupils from across Scotland to debate current world issues from various points of view.

“The day went perfectly to plan and the pupils did themselves and their school proud.”

A speaker from the United Nations Association spoke to the student representatives before they split into four committees to debate topics, including toxic chemicals, climate change, human rights and child soldiers.

Following the committee debates pupils debated as a country and prizes were given to the best delegates.

Mr Burrell said: “It wasn’t run by teachers, it was run by the kids themselves and it was all very formal. It’s a brilliant experience and the kids really love it.

“They were debating some of the biggest issues in the world today, and it gives them the chance to empathise and put themselves in the shoes of people who are far less fortunate than themselves because they are debating from different countries’ points of view.”

Pupils from Hutchesons Grammar in Glasgow, George Watson’s College in Edinburgh and Penicuik High were among those debating.