1. Description of Our Community
The community we would be focusing on the elderly at Kampung Arang, Singapore. This community consists of largely old people who are within the age of group of 65 years old and above. This community is estimated at 1,572 households. Most of them have very low levels of education and they are earning less than one thousand dollars a month. The elderly community in this area are in need of help from the government and the community. This community consists of the four main racial groups in Singapore, Chinese, Malay, Indian and Eurasians with the Chinese making up the majority. Most of the elderly here are conversant in Chinese. This community consists of elderly who are lonely because of the empty nest syndrome where the children of the elderly have left home after marriage. The elderly in Kampung Arang needs not only financial help but also emotional support from volunteers.
2. Summary of Our Project
In our school, Tanjong Katong Secondary School, students participate in a service learning programme by making a contribution to the community. The school does this by working closely with our partner, St Hilda’s Community Service, a voluntary organisation serving the needs of the elderly at Kampung Arang. Through this interaction, TK students demonstrate the school values of empathy, charity and loyalty. In this website, we showcase examples of service learning projects organised for our local community, the residents of Kampung Arang. • Love COPE programme where TK students assist St Hilda Community to organisea full-day Christmas High Tea party held in Kallang area, specially catered for the elderly of Kampung Arang. The students contribute by helping out with decorations of the venue, usher guests, serve food and help out as stage hands. • Project Serve where TK student leaders organise a service learning project by organising a fund raising activity of collecting old newspapers to raise funds for cleaning and painting the homes of the elderly in Kampung Arang. • `The Coffe Bin Project’ where TK students visit St Hilda’s Community centre weekly to interact with the lonely elderly for two hours for each session. The students play games or talk to the elderly to keep them company. • Special Projects involves TK students playing host for special events such as Chinese New Year. Each year about 80 elderly residents of Kampung Arang will visit the school on specially chartered buses paid for by the school. The elderly are entertained with a concert performance, presented with hampers packed specially by the students and are treated to a buffet spread. The elderly of Kampung Arang are also invited to our school’s national day celebrations where the elderly are treated to an outdoor parade celebration.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
A problem that we faced was the gathering and processing of data. Due to our hectic daily schedule, it was difficult to the time take time off to interview the relevant teachers for the information that we needed, and to compile the information after we got them. In addition, we had limited sessions to work on the project, as our club only met once a week, giving us limited time to discuss and transfer the work we had done over the course of the week. Another problem we faced was in the creation of the website. It was a tedious task, as we are not well trained in the field of website design and coding. This caused our technical team to become demoralised and frustrated halfway into the project. Furthermore, our teams were organised way after the starting date, and we could not decide on a topic as a whole club, leaving us with little time to complete the website. Having overambitious plans was another problem; these overambitious plans led to an improper planning of our time, causing the pressure to mount on the different teams at different times. For instance, the technical team had to wait for the writing team to finish before they could start with their work. On hindsight, we should have started with the overall design of the website first. All in all, while this project was plagued with numerous problems ranging from time to our team’s morale, it was an extremely enriching project, and we had learnt to overcome the problems through persistence and tenacity.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This competition serves as a platform to showcase our school’s community involvement programme, and also, allows our students to train themselves in the field of website design and programming.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
The content standards of our cyberfair project address the use of inquiry based learning pedagogy where the students have to answer their research questions. The students learnt the skills of doing research, interview techniques and synthesising of information for their website. As for technical skills, the students learnt video making and website development skills. The students cooperated and worked as a team. There was a division of workload and two teams was created, the writing and technical team. The students learnt that they played an important role as volunteers in the community. Yes, internet for teaching and learning is more effective than traditional methods because students get access to information at their finger tips as compared to traditional teaching and learning methods where the teacher is the one who is the source of knowledge.