19 Nov 2016

Tolerance Week

From the 14th to 18th of November, students from all year groups took part in Tolerance Week, during which a range of activities designed to encourage students to be open minded and accepting were conducted to highlight the importance of being tolerant both within and outside the Sha Tin College community.The week kicked off with students drawing and writing down what they thought were important when creating a more compassionate school environment. Many students made meaningful contributions, with one student writing, “I think tolerance means accepting each other as they are, and not because of their race, religion or ethnic beliefs.”

New activities revolving around the theme of tolerance were introduced to students on a daily basis. One such activity allowed students to try their hand at African drumming. Members of the lower school had the joy of drumming for teachers and students who passed by the basketball court during break time. Many were found drumming and chanting along as well; some were even found dancing!

Lower school students participating in African drumming.

It was clear that everyone found the activity enjoyable, Mandy So from 7D1 even said said that: “ I’ve never tried African drumming before Tolerance Week and I found it exhilarating to be able to connect with my classmates like never before.”

On Tuesday, there was a debate at the library based on the motion: “This House believes that we must tolerate total freedom of speech”. Sayeeda Urbana, Martha Chow, and Marvin Hsu were on side proposition while Sophia Poon, Andy Yau, and Bryan Ko were on side opposition. The adjudicators, Cedric Li and Henry Lui, encouraged the audience to raise points of information in order to make the whole debate more engaging. Side proposition won the debate, raising engaging and valid points in their arguments supporting the motion.

The proposition side focusing hard to formulate a rebuttal.

Martha, the second speaker for side proposition, said “The motion was not one that was easy to propose since total freedom of speech does not actually exist in our current society, thus meaning that framing the argument was crucial. It was insightful, but intellectually demanding, to say the very least. Defending my position was not an easy feat as both the audience and the opposition were able to find ways to attack my side’s model. However, the fact that I was able to discuss the issue with students who have similar passions and interests as myself made it a very enjoyable experience”

Sha Tin College’s Student Council also contributed towards promoting tolerance by creating and sharing a Jay Shetty-inspired video with the whole school. In the video, members of the Student Council discussed the meaning of the word ‘tolerance’ and what it meant to be tolerant, allowing students to consider and reflect on the idea of tolerance and what it meant to them.

STC Tolerance Week coincided with the United Nations’ International Day of Tolerance, which was on the 16th of November. Students took away not only a deeper understanding of what tolerance encompasses, but a new set of skills and a broader worldview as well.

Isabella Young 10D1, with edits from Laurel Lee and Leeann Tong