A scope for schoolchildren to know the world
Anahita Mehra was excited joining the four-day international conference titled “Round Square Conference” at Chittagong Grammar School (CGS) that began on February 3. “I am so excited to have the scope to be acquainted with the students from different countries,” said Mehra, a student of 11th standard at Mayo College Girls' School at Ajmer, Rajasthan in India.
“We visited an orphanage here on February 3, a day after we arrived in this city, and took part in painting competitions on pollution-free environment,” she said, adding that the children in the orphanage enjoyed their company very much.
The Round Square Conference began this year with the theme “Technology for a Sustainable World”, said Zia Golam Mohiuddin, representative of Round Square in CGS.
Chittagong Grammar School is the only Round Square School in Bangladesh, he said, adding that the conference involved about 80 international schools and this allows students to travel the globe in order to create opportunities to visit other countries and get involved in community services and discover cultures along the way.
Round Square schools from India, Pakistan, Oman, Thailand and Germany participated in the conference. The schools included the Daly College, Mayo College Girls' School, Vivek High School, Scindia Kanya Vidyalaya and DAIS from India, Indian School from Oman, Landheim Schondorf of Germany, Lyceum from Pakistan and Regent's School from Pattaya, Thailand.
As the teams reached the CGS premises, an ice-breaking session kicked off in the morning on February 3. Some traditional games were held during the ice-breaking sessions. These included exciting games like “O'maa go”, “Kaju Badaam”, “Gol Chokkor” and “Tui are koi de” which were played according to the larger groups of Earth, Wind, Water and Fire.
The participants said these games instantly brought them closer and just in the opening ceremony they all befriended many people.
“It was like we could read their minds and their eyes were reflecting that they were already enjoying their visit to CGS,” said Intifar Sadiq Chowdhury, an 'A level' student of CGS.
Intifar said as 'Round Square' member they have visited many countries.
“This was our fourth conference involving the in-house conferences where we generously involved schools from all over Bangladesh to understand the concept and need of such conferences,” he said.
These in-house conferences gained popularity and the one this year was followed, for the first time, by an international conference, he added.
“It was definitely a big thing for us, probably the biggest event in CGS's history. And I and my associates are unquestionably very lucky to be a part of this,” Intifar added.
Rantissa Chowdhury, an A-level student of CGS, said the students were put into 16 groups each consisting of 10 members. The groups are named after different tribes of the indigenous people in Bangladesh like Chakma, Mog and Rakhaine, she said, adding that she was in the Mog group.
With the use of these names, the participants, indirectly, would know about the various indigenous cultures of Bangladesh, she said.
The 16 sub-groups were under four groups like Fire, Wind, Earth and Water, the four basic elements of nature, Rantissa said.
“We had an ice-breaking session in the morning of the inaugural day,” she said, adding that in this session, the students from different countries met one another and became friends.
Taimur Siddique from Australia presented the key-note paper on “Paradoxes in the world's economy and need of sustainability” on the second day.
They also participated in other activities like making seed mosaic, painting totem poles and making posters and rickshaws.
Chief Executive Officer of 'Round Square (RS)' Brian Dawson and director of South Asian and Gulf region of RS, Sumer Singh, were present in the conference.