The main aim of the Values In Action (VIA) programme is to nurture students to become socially responsible citizens and to instil moral values in them (Engaging hearts and minds/ Grooming socially responsible citizens; July 17).
What makes it distinctive from its predecessor, the Community Involvement Programme, is that there are no minimum hours to fulfil and students are not graded.
This gives the programme more meaning, as community service becomes something students take part in so as to genuinely contribute and give back to society.
It can spark the students' initiative and more effectively instil desirable values in them.
However, the lack of minimum hours and grades may also trigger the mindset that since their grades or testimonials are not affected, the VIA is of minuscule importance and students can slack off on the activities.
Hence, some rules should still be implemented, so as to ensure every student takes part in the community service.
Wang Shiqi, 15,, Secondary 4 student