WINDHOEK: Nearly 100 high school learners from the Khomas Region gathered at the United Nations (UN) House in the capital on Friday for the first Model United Nations Namibia (MUNNAM) High School Conference.
The two-day conference will discuss and debate the international protection of refugees.
Officially opening the conference in the capital, the Deputy Minister of Education David Namwandi called on the learners to prepare and equip themselves to navigate the universe, and survive in the global village.
“You need a wide variety of skills and competencies, not only to survive, but to thrive and be at the forefront,” said Namwandi.
He encouraged the learners to approach the global challenge with an open mind and assertiveness, but also with infinite understanding, patience and respect.
Namwandi noted that only by enacting real-life problems can learners understand the challenges faced by real-life leaders.
Only by role-playing the tasks of different world leaders in difficult situations can learners also learn to consider a problem from all sides, and can they experience the difficulties in reaching consensus.
“It is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticise decisions taken by our national, business and world leaders, but once you have stepped into the hypothetical shoes of a Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers or a President of different countries, you will have more respect for the situations they have to unravel,” he explained.
MUNNAM will prepare the learners to understand the problems, faced not only by different countries, but by different regions and different continents, while preparing them to solve problems in a collaborative and participative manner to the benefit of the majority of the world’s citizens.
Model UN, a programme run by the United Nations’ Information Center (UNIC), is a simulation of the UN decision-making processes, and the conference will simulate the process from the point of an international crisis to the passing of a UN Resolution.
Learners from 13 high schools in the Khomas Region are representing different countries.
While simulating the roles of international delegates, students develop leadership skills as well as research, writing, public speaking and problem-solving skills through hands-on experiences.