Service Learning Takes Taylor’s College Students to Cambodia

IB Students Help Underprivileged Children In Cambodia As Part Of Their Community Service Programme

Taylor’s College Year One IB students (July 2015 batch) sharing a group photo upon arrival at Camp International in Beng Mealea, Cambodia.

Taylor's College Sri Hartamas (TCSH) students from the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) took their goodwill across borders when they participated in the college's annual community service project in Cambodia. Held from 30 March to 1 April 2016 this year, the activity took the group of 40 students and 3 teacher and facilitators from the college into a rural village in Beng Mealea near Siem Reap. By participating in the project, the students had the opportunity to enhance their learning and life skills through their participation in the project.

Themed 'Among Us', the project is part of a learning experience offered by TCSH in its IB diploma programme. Working with both adults and children in the village, the students acquired a greater understanding of the village’s unique situation and fostered empathy for the people’s needs on a personal level. By working alongside with their teachers, the students integrated Taylor’s College’s 5Cs (collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving, communication, creativity and innovation and cultural adaptation) as part of the learning process to develop them as well rounded individuals. Students are required to hone their collaboration, communication and cultural adaption skills through daily activities such as community mapping, familiarising themselves with daily routines, facilitating learning sessions with the children and learning to prioritise the identified development needs.

"The international community service is unique to Taylor's College's IBDP students, and is part of our course requirements in IBDP programme. We aim to promote and encourage our students to act as responsible global citizens that value respect, acceptance and appreciation of diverse group of people in their community. It also provides an experience beyond the classroom to develop life skills, cultural understanding and global perspective. At Taylor's College, we want our students to work together hand-in-hand with local communities to make a difference in each of their lives," said Anandakumaresh Ratnasingam, Campus Director of Taylor's College Sri Hartamas.

During the trip, the TCSH students were able to explore the Khmer culture by learning the local languageand engaging with the local communities through sporting activities. The students were also involved in teaching basic English conversation to the local children to broaden their communication skills. Additionally, the students helped the local community build new classrooms, construct schools desk and improve school kitchen facilities by taking part in the school refurbishment project, as well as learnt the agricultural methods practiced by the villages by helping them with jungle construction, path clearing and fruit tree planting. These activities had the further benefit of improving the quality of life within the students' foster community.

Preparing rural children for life through basic education – IB students participated in the development of new classrooms located at a local school.

Prior to the trip, the students held annual fundraising activities such as a 'Pie in the Face' auction which featured the chance to pie their programme teachers. The student-led campaign raised a total of RM3,000 which were donated to Camp International as part of its effort in assisting the local community in Beng Mealea. For the students, the fundraising activity is both a learning experience beyond the classroom and an additional way to clock community service hours.

IBDP's core component focuses on Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS), and students are encouraged to be active and balanced participants in sustained, collaborative projects. Students are exposed to a range of activities involving intellectual, physical, creative and emotional skills, and are required to complete 150 hours of Creativity, Action and Service (CAS) activities and 30 hours of community service.

IBDP students in Taylor's College are guided to achieve the Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award which is highly recognised by top universities and employers around the world. The Duke of Edinburgh Award has three progressive Award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) and a wide range of activities that offer endless possibilities to anyone aged 14 to 24. The Duke of Edinburgh Award sections include Volunteering, Physical, Skills, Expedition and Residential.

Taylor's College imparts the 3Ls (Learning, Leadership and Life Skills) to all students, and also hone the 5Cs (collaboration, creative thinking and problem solving, communication, creativity and innovation and cultural adaptation) in them, to ensure they are ready to face the competition at the world's top universities and in the workplace, besides overcoming life challenges.