On the 14th of October, Mapo Youth Center, also known as Youth Naroo, held a Youth Rights Golden Bell. It was held to raise awareness about the rights we, as youths, have in our daily lives. Based mainly on ‘UN convention on the rights of a child’ and ‘Ordinance on Human Rights for Children and Teens’, it covered various rights that youths have.
|[The tense atmosphere of the event, when the Golden Bell started.
Photo taken by Student reporter, Im Dakyoung]
65 students from all over the country who were enthusiastic about the topic participated. Participants were provided with a complimentary white cap, whiteboard and marker, and number card to pin on the cap. Golden Bell is a game with many participants where a question is given on the spot and the participants write down the answer on a whiteboard within a given time limit and raise it up high when a signal is given. If the one’s answer is wrong, he is out of the game. The questions were all open-ended for the particular event.
There was also prize for the winners of the program. The last six survivors were to be given 100,000 won worth of voucher. The final survivor was to receive an additional 200,000 won worth of voucher.
The event started with little ice breakers, such as the glancing game. We had to raise our whiteboards and say out the consequent number by ourselves. If two people were to raise their boards at the same time, the whole row was out of the game. Though it involved over 60 people and thus we did not get to ‘glance’ at each other, we were able to go quite far into the game. The real event started right after. From easier questions such as “What year was UN convention on the rights of a child declared?” to harder ones like “What was made in Seoul by youths themselves to protect their own rights?” My circle and I had studied the provided documents prior to participating in the program together. Thanks to that, we were able to answer most of the questions and be one of the last few to survive. Though the round was almost over and there were final winners, the game was made reset again and again to provide opportunities for more students to answer the questions.
|[Studying the Ordinance on Human Rights for Children and Teens before the game started.
Photo taken by student reporter, Im Dakyoung]
Through the event and the preparation for it, my circle and I were able to learn more about what right we have as youths. We did not even know that such documents to protect our rights existed before the program. Though we agreed that maybe article 17 of Human Rights for Children and Teens was not fully kept, we were grateful that our rights are respected in the society. Article 17 is about the right to play, rest and includes the fact that youths should not be made to engage in enrichment centers until late at night and should have enough sleep. Learning about human rights during social studies lessons, we were able to find the link between the day’s experience and our curriculum studies. It was like an extension to our normal lessons, and we found it very meaningful.
However, there was a room for improvement in the program itself.
|[Survey done at the end of the program, and a student wrote against it.
Photo taken by student reporter, Im Dakyoung.]
Firstly, there was a string of unfairness. Two of my friends and I was in the last seven of the survivors, but the organizer did not acknowledge us because he insisted on having six survivors to give the prize to and started the game again. However, when the next round had seven survivors remaining again, he gave the prize to all of them. We felt that it was unfair because in the previous round, there were seven of us too and we did not get the prize. After the event, we went to complain about the issue but we did not receive a proper reply.
Secondly, we felt that they collected unnecessary information. At the end of the session, evaluation sheet about the program and a sheet asking about ourselves were given out. Although it was anonymous, one of the students found the part collecting information about our parents’ jobs and salary which was uncomfortable. She wrote, “Could you let me know the connection between my parents’ job and my identity? I believe my identity is made from my studies and experience. I have a right to know where that, and my parents’ salary, and my parents’ jobs are going to be used for.” and left the sheet blank.
I felt that we had really learned something from the session that day. We felt that we could stand up for our own rights if it were to be infringed.
임다경 Im Dakyoung
Seoul Daewang Middle School
임다경 Im Dakyoung firstname.lastname@example.org
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