This is the conclusion to a three part series on school-based community service in Singapore. The first part deals with broad concepts of community service in Singapore (here, April 20, 2012); the second touches on the Community Involvement Programme (here, April 23, 2012); the third highlights Service-Learning, and the other concerns (here, April 25, 2012). Because this series revolves exclusively around recommendations, do read this document (here) to get a brief idea of what school-based community service in Singapore encompasses.
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After three separate entries, I thought I would just take the opportunity to quickly consolidate all the main points in a single entry, based on what has been expounded on throughout the past week.
Reaffirming the Value of School-Based Community Service in Singapore (here)
– The CIP should continue to be compulsory because of the host of benefits associated with the programme, and should thus perceived as a springboard for future activities.
– In schools, we need to broaden the understanding of “community service”.
– There needs to be better follow-up on programmes with capacity-building networks, to allow students to spiral upwards.
– Students should recognise that CIP and SL goes beyond the portfolio, and hence develop a greater appreciation for their activities and contributions.
The Community Involvement Programme (here)
– Diversify the programme: heighten the quality of service, offer more variety in participation, make activities complementary, and have schools be more flexible and receptive to different alternatives.
– CIP activities should not be “one-off”; there must be follow-ups.
– Increase the quality of reflection and feedback exercises, and also involve the non-profits in the post-event evaluations.
– Most significantly, it would be productive to involve teachers and parents in the entire process.
Service Learning (here)
– More resources and manpower can be given to education institutions to develop economies of scale. Community partners, such as elderly citizens, can also be invited to participate.
– Maximise the engagement with the non-profits, instead of engaging in one-off initiatives.
– There can be the development of a comprehensive CIP and SL catalogue, or resource portal for students, schools and teachers.
– There should be sustained collaboration between school administrators, educators and a variety of non-profits, so as to review progress continuously, as well as to bring about inter-school cooperation.