Service Learning Project

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Pakistan is passing through a very difficult time. It is surrounded by huge challenges such as terrorism, poverty, electricity load shedding, gas load shedding, shortage of water, illiteracy, environmental degradation, etc. Pakistan is running out of resources to meet these challenges. It is desperately looking for resources to address these challenges. Due to the unprecedented increase in terrorism in Pakistan, investments and improvement in the developmental projects have gone down terribly. Unemployment and underemployment are increasing every day. Educational institutions cannot afford to remain silent or pursue the policy of wait and see. The educational institutions need to re-think or re-define their role in addressing the challenges being faced by Pakistan. Educational institutions have so much to offer in the shape of human (students, teachers, volunteers, parents) and material (physical infrastructure such as buildings, classrooms, libraries, computer labs, science labs, transports, etc) resources to address the present challenges. Service Learning program provides an exciting opportunity to educational institutions to use these resources for both meeting the educational needs of students and addressing serious social problems.

 

A New Beginning: YES Network Pakistan has played a pioneer role in introducing and starting Service Learning program in Pakistan. YES Network Pakistan in collaboration with Catholic Board of Education, Lahore launched the Service Learning program in the leading Catholic Schools of Pakistan to enrich learning process of students, to mainstream students into the development process and to connect theory to practice. It is launched to re-define the role of students in the educational institutions from passive beneficiaries to active citizens that are making efforts to

address critical issues being faced by the country. It aims at enabling students in applying their knowledge and skills for bringing positive change in the society. It is designed to re-define the role of teachers from leading the students to facilitating the students in experimenting new ideas. It is launched to help students to develop the ability to discover for themselves rather than wait for commands from teachers. The overall goal of attaching service learning program into curriculum is to help students develop positive values that can serve them throughout their lives. To accomplish this, service learning program is launched throughout all the grades. Service Learning program provides a remarkable opportunity to educational institutions to renew and reform. It provides teachers with an important instructional tool for enhancing student performance and participation. By integrating service component into the instruction, service learning program enables teachers to make the content more meaningful to students while developing their ownership for learning. Service learning is a unique teaching methodology as it provides an opportunity for students to use knowledge and skills in real life situations.

Service learning has emerged as an inspiring strategy to energize schools, to change the way teachers carries out their responsibilities, to meet the unmet service needs of our society and to enhance the curriculum by extending learning beyond the classroom. Service learning is an organized effort to combine service objectives with learning objectives. It is a systematic approach to engage students in delivery of service to others by using gained knowledge from the classroom.

  • 300 Educational institutions have been engaged in service learning project
  • 4,200 Teachers are trained and engaged in launching service learning project in their educational institutions
  • 45,000 Students are engaged in designing and implementing service learning projects

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Institutional Engagement Steps
Steps Description
Identification The first step is to identify a champion (principal, senior teacher or board member) from the institution who has both the commitment and clout to introduce change in the institution.
Sensitization The second step is to sensitize the person identified on the concept of Service Learning. It may include organizing single or several informal sessions to convince the person about the need and outcomes of the Service Learning program.
Orientation The third step is to organize an orientation session with the person to create in-depth awareness and to identify possible channels for launching the Service Learning program.
Selection of Focal Person The orientation sessions helps to identify and select a focal person for rolling out the Service Learning program in the institution in consultation with the selected person.
Training of Teachers and Distribution of Material The next step includes organizing a training session for the faculty members of the school with the assistance of focal person. The purpose of the training is to equip teachers with knowledge and skills as well as material on Service Learning.
Formation of a Team The training helps to identify interested and potential teachers at each level (primary, middle and high) for rolling out and coordinating Service Learning program.
Designing and Execution of Service Learning Projects This step aims at designing and execution of service learning projects by the students with the facilitation of the teacher.
On-going Monitoring and Mentoring It includes collecting information on continuous process from the team regarding the progress. This step also includes providing mentoring support during the execution.
Reflection Sessions The reflection sessions play a very important role in taking stock and moving forward. The reflection sessions are also helpful in increasing motivation and lessening frustration among teachers.
Evaluation This is a very important stage where impact of Service Learning program is assessed on students, teachers, school and parents.
Recognition This step includes appreciating the contributions of students and teachers publicly. It may include organizing Service Learning exhibitions and giving certificates or cash rewards to students, teacher and the principal.