“Trump’s wall to divide nations – a means of suggesting one culture is better than another – is not the answer to developing more integrated communities”, a Cardiff pupil has said during a live video-link debate with students at a school in New Delhi, India. 

The Skype debate was between pupils at Kings Monkton School, a leading independent in Cardiff, and their peers at Delhi Public School.  It is the second debate of a series between the schools focused on developing understanding and integration between cultures and nations.

Topics discussed included the criminalisation of abortion, LGBTQ+ marriage rights, and whether immigration should be seen as a problem to be controlled or an opportunity to be embraced.

Students from both sides, all of secondary school age, challenged each other’s thoughts and opinions on each topic but often arrived at similar conclusions.

Paul Norton, principal at Kings Monkton School said: “We want every young person that studies here to feel proud of their culture and comfortable to express their beliefs and opinions.  The discussions today are just one example of how we are developing an environment where students are encouraged to learn about, understand and respect the cultural beliefs of their peers. 

“I’m very proud to see how our pupils have worked with their peers at Delhi Public School to explore often contentious topics and learn to accept and integrate a variety of opinions.”

The debate took place over a big screen in Kings Monkton’s main hall, chaired by head students on either side and supervised by teaching staff.

Clara Stewart, 17, a Kings Monkton student ambassador who chaired the debate, said: “Wherever you are in the world, strong opinions on these topics fuel passionate discussion.  It was an enjoyable challenge to chair this debate, with insightful arguments coming from both sides, and I’m excited to see how our relationship with Delhi Public School develops in future.”

The partnership between Kings Monkton and Delhi Public School was established earlier this year through connections with KIRAN, a Cardiff based charity that aims to encourage engagement, integration and acceptance between people of different cultures, founded by Tamasree Mukhopadhyay in 2018.  Ms Mukhopadhyay’s son attends Kings Monkton and the school were directly involved in the charity’s inception. 

Kings Monkton School has been named the UK’s fastest growing independent school by the Independent Schools Association (ISA) and is recognised for its innovative teaching methods, inclusive school community and small class sizes contributing towards the high achievements of its pupils.  In 2020, the school will celebrate its 150th anniversary. 

Find more information on Kings Monkton School here.