28 March, 2024

DCIS Students participate in FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference

DCIS Students participate in FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference - DCIS Students participate in FOBISIA Student Leadership Conference
Impacting Lives, Changing Futures

In February, nine Dover Court International School (DCIS) student leaders from Years 9 and 12 attended the 2024 Federation of British International Schools in Asia (FOBISIA) Leadership Conference in Penang, Malaysia.

The theme of the conference was ’Impacting Lives, Changing Futures, and it was an inspiring learning adventure for our student leaders and young people passionate about leading social, economic and environmental change.

Hosted by the Prince of Wales Island International School in Penang, Malaysia, the students spent time attending workshops and keynote presentations with young changemakers. These include Melati Wijsen, who at age 12 led a movement to ban single-use plastic bags in Bali, and Heidy Quah, the founder and director of the NGO Refuge for the Refugees.

As the only delegation from Singapore, our students worked alongside peers from 18 other FOBISIA schools, including our Nord Anglia Education sister school, British Vietnamese International School Ho Chi Minh City on current issues.

This trip allowed Astrid, a Year 12 IBDP student and the Wellbeing Committee Leader, to develop her leadership skills and work together with people from other schools. One of the highlights for her was the Race for Good experience, which she really enjoyed, and she is excited to implement initiatives that will benefit the community.

“We were tasked with helping a remote rural community in Greenland develop sustainable methods to climate change problems that are facing the community. I have come back from the trip keen to find new ways to drive social change here in Singapore,” Astrid said.

The students worked together to find solutions to global challenges such as climate change and took part in a model United Nations Conference seeking to inspire international cooperation to reduce the prevalence of HIV/AIDS.

Through the interactive workshops and engaging discussions, our students were given the opportunity to learn techniques to be more persuasive by the Malaysian Institute for Debate and Public Speaking.

Luka, another of our Year 12 Student Leaders said: “Our flight to Penang might have been delayed, but the FOBISIA Student Leadership trip did not disappoint. I heard speeches from lots of leaders and activists, met people my age from across Southeast Asia and took part in activities like visiting a nature reserve, a diplomacy game and giving presentations on our ideas to help others in need.”

“I also learned more about the world, how I can help, how to persuade others and change my mindset. It was an amazing experience, but my favourite part was being able to do it with my friends, as well as make new ones.”

The students also attended a community uplift experience in various places around Penang including a guided tour of The Habitat Penang Hill, a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

At DCIS, students are given leadership opportunities as part of the Dover Court experience and encouraged to lead. This year we have been working hard to give our students opportunities to develop their sense of agency and their leadership skills, Caspar Yim, DCIS Business teacher and Student Leadership Coordinator and Social Impact Lead, share.

"We respect that young people learn better when they feel comfortable in their school environment and giving students opportunities to have influence over the school, lead their own initiatives, and have their voices heard is a vital part of this,” he said.

“Our trip to Penang was a valuable opportunity for our students to develop their self-confidence and learn from inspirational leaders with a history of creating important social change at a young age. It was particularly pleasing to see our students throw themselves so eagerly into the social aspects of the trip, taking the opportunity to befriend peers from across our FOBISIA community and hear about the exciting ways changes are created within the school communities.”

There were also networking opportunities for students and teachers alike to connect with NGOs and change-making organisations from Malaysia and around Southeast Asia. This is vital in ensuring we stay innovative in our approach to developing leadership and student agency Casper highlighted.

“Equally, as staff, we had the opportunity to meet with colleagues from the region, share best practices, and learn about the initiatives that students are leading within other schools; all vital to ensuring that we stay innovative in our approach to developing learner leadership and student agency.

”This trip has empowered our young people and given them opportunities to make a difference.

“As a young change-maker committee member, this trip taught me how to be a great leader. It gave me the opportunity to work with other schools and listen to other leaders share their leadership journey,” Se-Ah, Year 9 student and Inclusion, Equality, and Diversity Committee Member said.