Case Studies

Brainwiz Teachers' Forum

21st-century skills are the need of the hour and it’s not only the students who need these skills. They are important for working professionals, educators, policy makers and basically everyone else. Brainwiz has been advocating for these skills ever since its inception in 2011. With this thought, Brainwiz has organised two discussion forums for teachers in which we invited them to talk, discuss, deliberate about the way extracurricular activities should be organised in schools. Using the skills of leadership, communication, collaboration, accountability and responsibility, critical thinking and problem solving, teachers came up with innovative suggestions to enhance the learning experiences of students when they participate in extracurricular activities.

Brainwiz Teachers’ Forum was organised in 2013 in collaboration with the American Centre, and in 2015 in collaboration with the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan. This document discusses the specifics of Brainwiz Teachers’ Forum 2015. The forum was organised on 21-22 January, 2015 and more than 25 teachers represented various schools from all across India. The forum discussed specific problems that schools and students encounter while organising Model UN Conferences and how can schools come together to counter those problems.

The Problems

While the board accepted issues that the schools wanted to discuss, a list of pre-defined problems was shared with all participants. These problems included...

  1. Lack of transparency in selection of the executive board and delegates and delegate awards.
  2. Simulation and over exploitation of the concept of unconventional committees.
  3. Lack of experience and facilities for first time conferences.
  4. Inclusiveness of differently abled students and lesser privileged schools.
  5. Inadequate training resources for students.
  6. Lack of discipline at Model UNs and violation of rules by the executive board.

The Process

The meeting was presided over by Ms. Sanjana Manaktala(UNIC) and Mr. Abhinav Verma(Brainwiz) and each item on the agenda was given ample time for discussion and deliberation over a period of two days. Teachers discussed about the issues at hand, shared experiences about how Model UNs are organised in their respective institutions and what could the possible solutions be. After each issue was discussed in detail, certain action points were discussed to solve the problems and all the teachers present there voted upon each solution individually. Once the voting was conducted, each solution made its way to a declaration that was jointly signed by all the teachers present at the forum. UNIC and Brainwiz offered their full support towards organising Model UNs to all the participating institutions.

The Solutions

The schools agreed to...

  1. Accept, adopt and encourage the UN4MUN procedure in their schools and flagship conferences that we may host in the future. The procedure not only facilitates discussions among the delegates, it also promotes the skills of communication, collaboration; and problem solving through consensus building.
  2. Ensure fairness in allotments of countries at conferences, possibly by exploring options of random selections and first-come first-serve delegation allotments at conferences.
  3. Ensure standardization and in delegate awards and judgments by enforcing the award criteria recommended by the UN Information Centre for India and Bhutan and specifically including certain weightage given to chits and position papers/country profiles.
  4. Refrain from hosting fictional committees in their conferences, although unconventional and non-UN political committees can be simulated provided their ratio is less than the conventional UN bodies in the mix of the committees, but these unconventional committees should not be restricted on the basis of minimum experience.
  5. Abide by minimum standards of decency in dressing and ensure discipline by all participants including the executive board.
  6. Discourage all social events at Model UNs including delegate dinners or dances, by whatever name they may be called, replacing them with entertainment sessions within the committee timings at the discretion of the executive board.
  7. Send proper and comprehensive appointment letters to the executive board if they are selected, with proper rules and regulations that they should comply with under all circumstances.
  8. Adopt a definite frame for time schedule of formal sessions of 15-20 hours, which may be divided into a two or three day conference, at the choice of the host institute.
  9. Encourage the use of online and physical resources prepared by the UN Information Center for India and Bhutan for conference attendees and organizers.

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