George Bernard Shaw had once said, "The worst sin toward our fellow creatures is not to hate them, but to be indifferent to them: that's the essence of inhumanity". At NPS International School, service to society forms an integral part of our education framework. We aim to inculcate, in the students, compassion and kindness towards others as well develop a habit of helping the less fortunate. The following initiatives are currently taken:
The 10-day CAS Global exchange programme in the historic east European city of Prague was filled with exciting activities. 11 NPSI students from IB Year 1 got to interact with students who represented countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Brazil, Rwanda, Armenia, Bahrain, Jordon, and Mauritius. The trip offered tremendous global perspectives and cultural exposure.
On 20th of January, more than 300 NPSI students and teachers from middle and senior school took part in ‘HDB door-to-door collection drive of recyclables’ in and around Bedok. It was a joint project with volunteers from Bizlink Pte. Ltd and Starbucks, Singapore. Around 4 tonnes of clothing and 5 tonnes of papers and some metals were collected for recycling to raise funds for Bizlink, an organization that employs challenged individuals. The students developed a sense of commitment and willingness to serve the community while having a good time working as a team with their classmates.
Students of NPS International, Singapore and The International School, Denmark engaged in planning of the CAS projects. Students have chosen projects like organising a football tournament with refugee children, organising activities for a nearby elderly home, teaching primary level English at a local Danish school, creating awareness programme video on any global issue, and planning an environmental project.
This is a student-led community outreach initiative called “English Outreach Programme." This was started under an organisation called Daughters of Tomorrow (DOT) which is a registered charity in Singapore. DOT is working towards empowering underprivileged women through confidence-building, skills development and employment-channeling.
Students of IB directed their passion for Football for a cause. The students collaboratively organised a charity Football tournament to raise funds for “Food From The Heart," a Singapore-based charity outreach that spreads joy by distributing food to the needy.
Through various projects, including the Yearbook, the senior students raised and donated a sum of S$5000 to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where some of our students volunteer regularly.
The senior students coordinate and conduct highly successful bake sales to raise money for charity.
The IB students volunteer each year at the “Free the Bears Foundation” at Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Centre in Cambodia. This center aims at helping the rescued black bears in Asia. The students actively participate in building and cleaning the animal enclosures, preparing food for them and other tasks under the supervision of the Head of Operations. During this educational trip, they visit the Killing Fields Memorial and S21 Prison to learn more about the history of Cambodia.
This is a home for Disabled and Challenged adults. They say music has no barriers. To celebrate Diwali, students of Grades 4 to 7 put up a song and dance show for the residents. Though the residents were all of Chinese origin, they enjoyed the programme, clapping, cheering and singing along. At the end of the show, the students distributed coloured pencils and Rangoli patterns for the residents to colour, plus chocolates as a special treat.
NPSI students held a Deepavali Celebration entitled ‘Lighting Up Hearts’ at SASCO Citizen’s home. Together with teachers and staff, a special programme was prepared where lively song and dance numbers are rendered much to the delight of the residents. Activities were also held where students assisted the residents in producing art work.
Fund raising activities during the first semester of the academic year were geared towards funding of Braille Machines for a blind school in Jodhpur (www.jodhpurblindschool.com). This NGO works towards rehabilitation of the blind, deaf and dumb, and mentally challenged students and were voted the Best NGO in Rajasthan in 2007. The funds raised during the Mufti Days and Carnival, funded 3 Braille machines for the school.
Fund raising activities like bake sale and Mufti days, in the second semester are geared towards funding of a learning centre for female students, along with IIMPACT. IIMPACT was founded in 2002, by the 1978 alumnus of IIM(A) (www.iimpact.net). Their primary focus is the education of girl children who are first generation school goers, from socially and economically disadvantaged sections, based in rural areas. The centre adopted by NPSI has a small class size of 30 and will use activity based teaching with special emphasis on Mathematics, Science and extra-curricular activities. Specially designed books will be given to each student and computers and other modern teaching tools will be introduced shortly.
NPS joined Essilor Vision Foundation in its efforts to raise awareness of the importance of eye exams. Recipients were students from low-income families in Singapore. 300 students underwent free eye examinations. NPS funded the spectacles.
The students of the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at NPS International School have volunteered at KK Women and Children's Hospital on a weekly basis. During the visits, the students talk to the patients, read to them, spend time with them and also serenade the patients and hospital staff with songs and music. By interacting and sharing stories with the patients, the students have been able to broaden their sphere of knowledge and forge new friendships.
Students of IB Year 1 visit the women’s and children’s wards. They engage the patients in activities like art and craft work, singing and dancing. This is an endeavour to give the patients an opportunity to build and develop relationships with people outside of IMH.
The students take part in Adult Enhancement Programme (AEP) at the Down Syndrome Association at Bishan. This programme seeks to enhance the clients’ skills in work related activities to help them become more independent and productive in the course of their life. Students work alongside clients to make gift tags, greeting cards, and other products. As they work, our students talk and listen to them. The bigger goal is to improve their socialization skills, train them to work hard and slowly prepare them to lead an independent life so that eventually they can go out and seek employment.
Students of IB Year 1 visit the Ren Ci Hospital where the patients stay for the long-term care. Staying together in the hospital ward for months makes them detached from society. This makes them suffer mentally and emotionally besides the physical problems they are battling with. Our students sing, play games, do some art and craft work, go for walks and talk to the patients so that they get to interact with other people besides their doctors and nurses. This speeds up their recovery process and also keeps them emotionally lifted.
IB Year 2 students visit the Animal Concern Research and Education Society(ACRES) every Tuesday. They join passoniate animal-lovers at the centre to take care of animals under stress. These are animals rescued from diferent parts of the country where they have been abandoned by their owners or have had injuries from road accidents. Students help clean the animal shelters, build new shelters, prepare animal feed and clean up the open space by doing some gardening.
This organisation runs a number of day care centres for the physically challenged and elderly members of the community. Our students from IB Year 1 have started visiting one of the homes located at Chai Chee lane. Our volunteers spend time with the residents in an effort to entertain them and help them feel accepted in society. A fund raising drive was conducted in school which raised about $10,500 for the Moral home.
Some students participated in the Eye camp which was in collaboration with Lions Eye Hospital in Tiruvarur, India. This was held on the 18th of August, 2014 AT Melapoothanur village in the Nagapattnam district in South India. Our students joined other students from the local school in the village to raise awareness of basic hygiene and importance of taking care of their eyes. The camp was mainly catering to the needs of the senior citizens along with middle aged people and children. The students also sponsored the spectacles for all the villagers.
On Saturday, 13 September 2014, 22 IB Year 2 students were proud participants in an environmental activity. Paris Ris Beach No 6 was alloted for the cleanup of NPSI students. They headed towards the assigned area early in the morning with rubber gloves, trash bags and gunny sacks.The students collected 85 kgs of trash which consisted of plastic bags, styrofoam packets, food wrappers, shoes, clothes, fishing nets, drink cans, bottles, etc. If left lying around, these would harm marine life apart from spoiling the beauty of the beach.
The cleanup was not just limited to trash-picking. The students also had to compile data on the type of trash found and upload it in the website of the Ocean Conservancy Act. The data collected from all the 4,000 volunteers will be used to educate the public and encourage them to maintain cleaner coasts and protect marine life.
Our students also participated in the HarmonyWorks! Conference on race and religion. This yearly event is planned by OnePeople.sg since 2005 and one of its aims is to get youths to think about shared values and the Singapore Spirit. The HarmonyWorks! Conference is attended by nearly 800 students from 50 schools in Singapore. They include students from mainstream and Special Assistance Plan schools, institutes of higher learning as well as international schools and Madrasahs. The participants from our School, aged 13 to 19, shared their experiences and views on racial harmony.
As part of the community integration initiative, there has been an ongoing Pen Pal Programme between NPSI and our neighbouring school, East Coast Primary, in which students write letters to each other. Students from NPS International School also got together with their pen pals at East Coast Primary and did various fun activities together for the occasion of Singapore's National Day. They had a chance to experience life in a local school and to interact with children of other races and nationalities, which would serve to broaden their horizons.
Secondary School students also participate each year in the racial harmony camp called Campteen, organised by OnePeople.sg. It is a fun opportunity for our students to meet other students from various cultures and understand their traditions. The students participate in various activities like games, painting, etc which require collaboration and teamwork. The participants also visit several heritage sites like Little India, Chinatown, Gurudwara, Catholic Church and experience different cuisines.
These opportunities help our students to embrace their own culture whilst appreciating others. It is our School's value to emphasise cultural understanding and responsible citizenship/ residency to it's student body, so that students become compassionate and informed citizens/ residents.