Trips for International Experience
East View Secondary School’s annual Interdisciplinary Overseas Trip in 2013 took 30 students and six teachers to the ancient city of Chiangmai in Thailand. We visited the Prostheses Foundation and toured the facility that benefits the handicapped worldwide. We presented an 11 kg worth of aluminum can ring tabs that were collected by East Viewans over a period of four months. These would be melted down for the construction of artificial limbs. During the six-day learning journey, we stood on the peak of Doi Inthanon, rode on the backs on magnificent elephants across rivers and over undulating terrain, and flowed down gentle rivers on bamboo rafts. The highlight of the trip must have been the overnight stay with locals at Lamphun Province, and the community involvement projects planned and helmed by the students themselves. During the two-day visit to Ban Sriyoi School, East Viewans guided by the YMCA Northern Development Foundation, taught lessons to primary aged school children and also painted parts of the school. East Viewans were truly immersed into Thai culture. We did not just view artifacts in museum displays but walked among the ruins of ancient temples, partook in traditional dance, meals and ceremonies.
‘A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step’. Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, was right. That single step was a milestone for East Viewans as 25 pupils and six teachers embarked on a Service Learning Trip to the Philippines from 3 June to 7 June 2013 under the stewardship of Mr Harold Goh, HOD Science. It was indeed a maiden trip to most of the pupils who took part in the programme. The objective of the trip was to imbue the value of compassion in our pupils so that they could make a difference to the lives of the less fortunate and to create an awareness of global issues by widening their horizon.
Pupils and teachers alike began their preparations in full swing a month before the journey immediately after the First Semestral Examinations. Pupils met in their respective groups with their teachers and created their own scrapbooks so that they could inspire their fellow counterparts in the Orphanage in Philippines to do likewise when they meet them. Pupils were also given the task to design and create personalized cards, prepare games and songs for the pupils in Philippines. The excitement and energy levels of the participants soared so high and that spurred them to prepare all they had to do before the trip within a very short span of time.
In Philippines, East Viewans engaged in a plethora of activities aimed at enriching the lives of the pupils in Grace Christian School and the orphans at the Orphanage through dramatization, education, lifting of their spirits and enhancing their living conditions. Under the guidance of Ms Priyanka, East Viewans wrote scripts and in turn guided pupils under their charge to act. East Viewans also prepared and taught Mathematics and Science lessons to their respective assigned classes. Mr Phey Boon Yeow conceptualized and conducted interesting games and East Viewans had a field day pitting their skills against their fellow pupils in the school. East Viewans also engaged them with local and contemporary songs, constructed bamboo windows, planted saplings in the school, and painted the facade and the washrooms of the Orphanage. The most memorable of all these is the creation of scrap book of every single orphan in the orphanage. East Viewans shared their own scrap books as models and guided their charges to design their scrap books creatively. Mr Azahar and Mdm Rosina compiled them concisely and beautifully into one folder and Mr Harold in turn presented it to the Orphanage on the last day of the visit. In order to make East View’s mark, Mr Izhar also created an artistic collage which was also presented to the Orphanage.
The 5 days in Philippines was indeed memorable for all the participants as they felt that their perspective towards life changed for the better. East Viewans not only acquired knowledge about Philippines society, culture and history, but also developed a greater sense of compassion and responsibility through their experience with their less-privileged Filipino peers. The experiences they had in Philippines made them think deeply and even catapulted them to do greater things in life such as making a resolution to make a difference to the less fortunate in the future. They could not believe how the orphans could live so contentedly and happily with such limited resources and appreciated how fortunate they are for all the luxuries that they have in Singapore and grateful to their parents for their love and care.
East View Secondary School first started its twinning programme with Anning Middle High School in Kunming (China) in 2008. The objectives of this twinning programme is to provide all-rounded education that will prepare our students with the necessary mindsets, values and skills to thrive the 21st century; and also to provide cross cultural experiences that will increase their global perspective in life. Thus, we strive to develop our students to be ‘a leader of self, a person of influence’ who is also grounded in values and committed to the nation. The twinning programme will provide opportunity for our students to observe some lessons in China institutions, interact with China teachers and students as well as to be involved in service learning projects rural primary schools. Through the twinning programme students will experience schooling in a different environment and gain new perspectives in learning.
Twinning Programme with Centum High School, Busan, South Korea
With the emphasis on developing 21st Century Competencies (21CC) in our students and the recognition that schools’ internationalisation efforts can strongly support the Desired Outcomes of Education, our college organizes various overseas trips to broaden our students’ experiences and deepen their learning.
The objectives of the Internationalisation Programme to Korea are as follows:
- Develop in our students the 21CC of global awareness and cross-cultural skills
- Expose students to Asia and the world so as to increase their knowledge and sensitivity to cultures different from their own
- Deepen students’ commitment and rootedness to Singapore
- Enrich and support academic learning and co-curricular activities
Financial support will be given to Singaporean students by MOE under the Trips For International Exxperience (TIE) Fund. Students could also utilize Edusave grant to fund the trip. Needy students could apply additional financial support through the school, subject to approval.
The twinning programme with Centum High School started in 2011. EVSS visited the school for the first time on 15 Nov-19 November 2012. 15 students returned the visit this year from 23-24 February 2013.
The key programmes for this trip are:
- Group Project Presentation. Students are required to do a research on food ferementation and made a comparison between two fermentation process in Kimchi, a popular Korean side dish, and Tapai, our local fermented tapioca. They presented their findings to their Korean buddies.
- One Night Homestay. Students get the opportunity to immerse into the culture and lifestyle of their buddies and their families. During the stay, students are required to observe the culture and practices of their buddies and present their observation in a reflection exercise during the debrief session.
Highlights of 2014 Programme:
- Group Project Presentation; Presentation of the Singapore Arts and Culture
- One Night Homestay
- Visit to Busan’s only English Radio station
- Cultural experience such as Kimchi cooking class
On the 18th of April 2013, 201, embarked on a 2 days 1 night International Service and Learning Journey. In line with our school motto of attaining excellence in all we do, having far-sighted vision of our goals and desires, and the desire to bring service and kindness to the communities around us, the students set out on a journey of experiential learning to Malacca.
One of the key objectives for this trip was to instill in our students the act of having empathy for others and the ability of demonstrating care for those around us. They were exposed to the challenges of the rural poor and were involved in many small projects within a children’s home itself. Our students showed that they were a vibrant community of passionate learners with a heart to serve through many ways particularly their acts of service and with their gifts of love. Through listening, and interacting with the orphans and teachers at the orphanage, our students exercised values such as respect, compassion and displayed an immense sense of responsibility when they took charge of projects and directed the flow of events.
The students also embarked on a journey exploring the innumerable career opportunities that the international as well as local tourist industry holds for them. They visited a four-star hotel where they were exposed to the various sectors of the service industry, and were given the opportunity to communicate with the locals and the people of positions in a hotel. What they learnt about hospitality from their curriculum was further highlighted by physically being present to view a hotel in its grand-scale operation, and to interact with staff regarding the essentials and training required in order to perform as a professional in the hospitality and management industry.
Through deliberate academic connections, students were able to see the importance of being fluent and confident in communicating their ideas. They were also able to see language being a tool for bridging barriers in social and formal situations. 201 students left Malacca as more than just global citizens with an increased global understanding, but rather global citizens with compassion and grateful hearts for serving others before self. A key thought that centered across the board with the students was that they realized that the beauty of volunteering lied in the fact that when they gave, they received so much more in return.