Community service is work done by a person or group of people for the benefit of others. Community service is becoming a graduation requirement in most high schools around the world, particularly in the United States of America. More and more, middle and high school students around the US are being required to perform community service hours as part of their learning experience. Infact, in most schools in US, community service is mandatory requirement for high school graduation. Others have added courses that include service in their curriculum.
If students can get involved in giving back to a cause or helping their community in a way that matters to them, the lasting benefits can be far-reaching. Anyone who has ever volunteered knows that the satisfaction and pride that comes from helping others can be life changing. To help our young people experience community service as part of their education provides them with the chance to give back to the community that helped raised them.
The value of helping others and not being compensated for it monetarily may be new to the children of today, where an average child is egocentric and self-centred. The average young person thinks how to amass wealth and get reach quick. That is why they easily get involved in criminal activities like internet fraud popularly called the “yahoo-yahoo boys”, kidnapping and armed robbery. Instilling in them from childhood the value of helping others and giving back to their communities may go a long way in reversing this negative trend of always seeking ways and means of taking/snatching from the community. CRACO is determined to build a generation that has a different attitude and approach to life contrary to what we have presently in Nigeria – a generation that has learnt over the years how to steal, embezzle, loot and destroy the common wealth in pursuit of their selfish and self-centred orientation. If we can re-direct the minds and hearts of today’s children/young people, then we can have a better politicians and leaders tomorrow because it is easier to build up a child than to repair an adult. The task may not be easy but we believe it is possible and achievable.
We highly commend Chrisland High school for integrating community service learning into their school curriculum, especially for High school graduating students, and we urge other schools in Nigeria to do the same as the benefit of community service learning to students is enormous. CRACO is ready and willing to work with schools that integrate community service learning into their curriculum, and together we can raise well rounded youths for a better society.
We also advocate that the ministry of education makes community service mandatory for High school students as a requirement for graduation. Doing so will teach an important lesson to young people – that service to others is not an option but an obligation. Time has come for us to realise that the purpose of school education is not only to train young people academically and intellectually, but also to develop ethical, responsible and compassionate human beings.
BENEFITS OF INTEGRATING COMMUNITY SERVICE LEARNING IN SCHOOLS
- Students who participate in community service learning tend to do better in school. It’s believed that community service is somewhat of a missing link for students; it gives them the chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom to real human needs. Volunteering is a great way to follow up on and supplement subjects that have been covered in the classroom.
- Youths who take part in community service activities become more involved in their communities, and as a result, tend to care more about what happens in those communities. Often, students who have participated in community service will grow up to become young voters and remain involved in their communities throughout their lives.
- Creating a lifelong habit of community service can help students become more healthy over the course of a lifetime. Research has shown that individuals who participate in volunteering have better physical and mental health than those who do not.
- Taking part in community service teaches students skills that are valuable to employers, like problem solving, team work, and the ability to follow instructions. Community service is especially valuable when it is related to a student’s future career.
- Community service opens students up to a wealth of networking opportunities, allowing them to build new relationships within their community as they contribute. Students can meet new people, work with new organisations, and strengthen their ties to the community.
- Community service helps build a sense of responsibility in students, and a sense of pride when they see that what they have done is actually helping others.
There is no doubt that integrating Community Service into our Schools Curriculum will go a long way into raising Children who will build a better society tomorrow.