United We Can: A Reflection on the Theme
By Arnett Edwards, Head of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong
As we approach UWC Day in our COVID-19 world, it gives us an opportunity to pause and reflect about what the UWC movement and the world have achieved and will achieve as we navigate a new normal.
To say that I have been impressed with how staff and students have adapted to this new norm would be an understatement. With each of us recognising the challenges that COVID-19 has brought up on us: whether it is getting to grips with new technology (many of us had simply not used Zoom before the pandemic), adapting as a teacher or student to this different way of learning or remodelling our approaches to studying and working.
Undoubtedly, the creativity shown by staff and students during this time has been extraordinary. A virtual graduation ceremony which had live links to each student and family wherever they were in the world; a virtual Sino-Japan Youth Conference that connected young students from People’s Republic of China, Japan, Hong Kong and Taiwan, led by able alumni and students from 8 different UWCs; the creativity shown when students find clever ways to collaborate across different time zones to put on the Virtual Welcome Show
to our new Year 1 students and the Virtual International Cafe celebrating different cultures around the world. Ken Robinson would have been extremely proud.
In looking at the theme: “United We Can”, I hope that we can find ways to connect with others outside of the UWC movement. This is an opportunity to think creatively and to reach out to others so they can be part of the “United We Can”. Can we reach out to someone who has a very different perspective from our own and truly listen? Can we engage across generations so that we are truly united about a particular cause?
So in demonstrating that “United We Can” - let’s celebrate what has been achieved together during this pandemic and let us reach out to others and show how in a wider community we can be united.