For any endeavor, the most important question to answer is, “Why do we do this thing we do?” Oftentimes, schools, and churches, conduct activities for the sake of having activities. Maybe because of tradition or because “these are just regular parts of the calendar.” However, to make an event truly meaningful, there has to be a purpose behind it.
The National and Junior Student Conventions are premier events of School of Tomorrow® Philippines that serve as the highlight of the school year for students and homeschoolers using the ACE/School of Tomorrow® System in the Philippines and Cambodia. Designed to let the students share their God-given talents and be able to discover and develop new skills and abilities that they can use to honor God, each convention is also an avenue for the students to hear challenges from God’s Word, and make decisions to serve our Creator.
With the pandemic, the student conventions were put on hold with the strict quarantine regulations set by the government. Early this year, the idea of holding virtual student conventions was brought up by some school administrators to provide students with activities as a break from their academic work. In March, during the Kumustahan at Kapihan of administrators and principals, schools signified their support to the holding of the conventions this second half of 2021.
After the “pandemic break,” it would be good to revisit the main objective of the student conventions. Further, to give deeper meaning to this objective, the values that were being upheld in the past were written out as Student Convention Values that students could embrace.
The Student Conventions aim to provide venues for students to discover and develop their talents and abilities and, in the course of preparations, strengthen their character through participation in various competitive events.
Specific Objectives -These are framed in the following key values:
Student Convention Values
Love of God
The Student Conventions promote a deeper appreciation for God’s individual design as students discover their unique gifts and abilities in preparation for their future stations in life. This affirms ACE/School of Tomorrow® System’s commitment to individualism as a basic philosophy of education and life.
“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well.” – Psalm 139:14
Pursuit of Excellence
The Student Conventions promote the pursuit of excellence as students are guided to discover their God-given talents and abilities and to work towards becoming the best in these areas. Being competitive is defined as being the best one can be compared to what one can be as opposed to being the best compared to others.
“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.” – Colossians 3:23-24
The Student Conventions promote character development as students learn about dedication, patience, perseverance, and commitment in preparing for their competition. Further, honor, respect, submission, and cooperation are learned through coaching, mentoring, and training in group events.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
Integrity and Sportmanship
The Student Conventions promote integrity as students are trained to follow rules and recognize boundaries through the clear-cut description of event criteria, competition requirements, and dress codes. Further, the competition promotes the celebration of victory, the honor of participation, and grace in defeat.
“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” – Galatians 6:9
“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” – Philippians 2:3-4
Fellowship and Camaraderie
The Student Conventions promote fellowship and camaraderie by bringing schools together, thus, providing opportunities to compete outside of their respective schools, establish new friendships, and collaborate with other institutions. Like JSCs, past NSCs have already forged friendships for a lifetime.
“For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ.” – 1 Corinthians 12:12
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!” – Psalm 133:1