The Values in Action (VIA) programme has "a more long-lasting and deeper impact" than the Community Involvement Programme (CIP).
Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Education and Social and Family Development, said this yesterday at Chongzheng Primary after pupils from its Innovation Club gave him a presentation on some of their VIA projects.
The Ministry of Education fully implemented the VIA programme in 2014, replacing the CIP. The focus shifted from community service to developing desired values in students.
Yesterday, the MOE announced that almost all students who finished secondary school last year completed at least two VIA projects that impacted their school or community.
Under VIA, students learn about community issues and the needs of others, and come up with proposals on how they can contribute to improvements in school, at home or in the community.
Dr Faishal said: "VIA allows the students to think, conceptualise and make sure there are experiential components. At the same time, there is a long-term and sustained component."
"When they are able to relate (to a cause) and do something they find interesting, the whole experience becomes a very worthwhile journey for them," he said.
VIA is compulsory for students in primary and secondary schools, junior colleges and centralised institutes.
Unlike CIP, there are no minimum hours to fulfil but students would have had some opportunity to go through the new programme in the last five years.
Schools can also customise their VIA programmes.