Although the Community Involvement Programme (CIP) and the Values In Action (VIA) programme both aim to develop students into socially responsible citizens who contribute to the building of stronger communities, I believe the latter is more successful.
This is due to the way it is carried out.
Under the CIP, it was compulsory to do six hours of community service annually, resulting in many students blindly providing their services solely to meet the requirement.
The VIA, however, educates students about community issues, engages them and allows them to come up with proposals on how they can improve their environment.
It not only encourages students to learn more about what is going on around them, but also gets them working on problem-solving skills.
The fact that there are no minimum hours to fulfil, students are not graded, and they can customise their programme makes it more appealing.
Additionally, since the VIA is conducted during curriculum time, students do not have to worry about having their little free time taken up.
With the VIA, our students will, perhaps, now be more caring and capable of contributing to our community.
Karon Kung Yan Le, 16
Secondary 4 student