Regent's hosts Round Square

The Regent's School (RS) will celebrate its 15th anniversary of being a holistic education provider by hosting the "Round Square International Conference 2010" (RSIC 2010) under the theme of "We Walk Together" at its Pattaya campus in October, Virachai Techavijit, PhD, chairperson and founder of RS, revealed recently.

Mr Virachai disclosed that the event will be attended by over 700 students, school principals and managers from 76 Round Square member-schools in 22 countries worldwide. The event will be presided over by the organisation's president, Constantine II of Greece, and his spouse Anne-Marie of Denmark.

Last year, the event was held at Mayo College, India.

The Regent's School is the only school in Southeast Asia that is a member of the Round Square organisation, a network of schools established by German education philosopher Kurt Hahn.

"According to Hahn, the duty of schools is not just to prepare students for college and university, but is also to provide students with opportunities to experience real-life situations so that they can excel in courage, generosity, imagination, principles and resolution," said Mr Virachai.

The 2010 conference is focused on developing the partnership between delegates and local communities. The student-oriented RSIC 2010 is conducted around the "service" element, which is one of the six pillars of the Round Square concept initiated by Hahn _ internationalism, democracy, environmental awareness, adventure, leadership and service (Ideals).

Before the conference, delegates will attend a one-week pre-conference service session, where they will meet and work with community service organisations and underprivileged communities that are in partnership with RS, Mr Virachai explained.

The students will, for example, help in the construction of an international community resource centre for the Moken people on Phi Phi island in Krabi province, help in the the erection of a new boarding block for female students in Mae Lid Karen village in Mae Hong Son province, and help by working in the Croston House Children's Home in Chiang Mai.

"We want our children and delegates from around the world to meet these people and work with them and be inspired by them. Not only will they go home as better people, but they will also leave a positive legacy behind," said Mike Walton, principal of RS' Pattaya campus.

During the week-long conference, students will meet with leading community service figures like Peter Dalglish, executive director of the South Asia Children's Fund and founder of Street Kids International; Mechai Viravaidya, founder and chairperson of the Population and Community Development Association; Father Joe Maier, founder of the Mercy Centre; and Usanee Janngeon, the centre's director.

The delegates will also spend an extra two service days at the conference. On those days, they will be assigned to community service projects in Pattaya and Rayon provinces.

"This is about educating young people so that they understand that they can make a difference to the world around them," said Mr Walton, who expects that students will develop long-term partnerships with the communities they assist during the conference.


More information on RSIC 2010 is available at

www.rs-wewalktogether.org.

About the author

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Writer: Purich Trivitayakhun
Position: Reporter