The issue of refugees and asylum seekers is occupying much of the global media’s attention. The question of whether New Zealand should increase the number of refugees it accepts, currently the annual quota is 750, has been the subject of national debate.
Students Learn About Important Global Issue – Refugees
Recently Year 10 students took part in a Women in War Seminar organised by the New Zealand Red Cross. This was part of their learning for the Social Studies unit on Refugees. That week also marked World Refugee Day and the announcement from UNHCR that the number of people globally who are refugees, seeking asylum and internally displaced now exceeds 50 million; a higher figure than at any time since World War II.
We were fortunate to have the session introduced by OG Penny Mason who is a past National President of NZ Red Cross. Debbie Cullen, the East Coast co-ordinator, facilitated and organised the workshop and we heard from two presenters working in refugee strategy and policy at a national and international level. Marnie Lloyd described her experiences of working as a specialist in International Humanitarian Law and visiting various refugee camps globally and Rachel Banfield was able to give first-hand accounts of supporting new refugee families to New Zealand through her work as the NZRC policy, advocacy and research advisor. Students were extremely impressed by the presentation and felt that with such an important global issue it was crucial to find out how as a country we are responding.
Exciting Opportunity for Year 10-12 Students Still Exists
There is still an opportunity for Year 10, 11 and 12 students to be involved in the 2016 Curriculum trip to Europe. We have a fantastic group of students already confirmed for this exciting learning experience next year and our travel agent is in the process of making bookings.
Over the course of three weeks we will experience the excitement of the history, art, culture and entertainment in London – the Globe Theatre, Madame Tussauds, to viewing the Crown Jewels in the Tower of London. We will then spend two days touring the World War I battlefields which coincides with the 100th Anniversary Commemorations of the Battle of the Somme where over 2,000 New Zealanders died in just four months. Our next destination is Paris where will spend four days exploring the sites of this iconic European city and give a number of our language students the opportunity to experience life in a French speaking country. The final nine days will be spent in Italy visiting Venice, Rome, Sorrento and Naples.
If there are any other students who will be seniors next year and would like to be involved please contact Rachel Roberts at firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.
Mrs Rachel Roberts, HoD Social Sciences