SINGAPORE - Polytechnic students can now also initiate and take part in more community projects, as the People's Association Youth Movement (PAYM) is extending its service-learning programme to them.
Previously available mainly to secondary schools and junior colleges, the programme was extended to the Singapore University of Social Sciences last year.
On Saturday (Aug 11), PA announced Republic Polytechnic to be the the first polytechnic to join the programme.
Talks are underway to get more polytechnics onboard, and another polytechnic is scheduled to launch this programme by the end of the year.
The service-learning programme provides students with more platforms and opportunities to carry out community initiatives together with youth volunteers from PAYM.
"We believe that service learning should be carried out throughout a student's education journey," said Ms Eileen Chen, vice-chairman of PAYM's central youth council at the movement's Service-Learning Festival held at RP.
She also noted that students from institutes of higher learning, such as polytechnics, would be able to leverage on their industry-based learning to contribute to the community in a different way.
Minister for Social and Family Development Desmond Lee, who was the guest of honour at the event, encouraged more students to take up volunteering in a speech.
"Giving and volunteering is a marathon, it's a lifelong way of life," said Mr Lee.
He also presented awards to the students behind some 23 outstanding projects. Thirteen more awards were given out to individual students for their exemplary work.
Among the award-winners was 16-year-old Aarthi Kannan from Naval Base Secondary School who, along with her four teammates, won a gold award for a project they organised for underprivileged children. The team created a learning trail for the children using crime scene investigation as the theme.
"I feel very proud, because we honed our leadership skills, we took charge, and made sure that everything was set in place for the children, so for us to be here and receiving this award we were very happy," said Aarthi.