Education is the foundation of democracy. As such it must work for all young people. Yet far too often young people disengage from learning and do not reach their full, human potential. Community learning addresses this need by using community-based learning to re-engage students in education and to create the conditions for their success.
"The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayer."
- Mahatma Gandhi
At Nahar International School the aim is to nurture natural engagement about the community for students to have an analytical, evaluative grasp of local and national issues and their causes, effects and possible solutions, so that they are ready to understand the impact on the world level. This will foster a learning environment that extends far beyond the classroom walls. Students learn and problem solve in the context of their lives and communities.
Because of the deep and purposeful connections between schools and communities, the curriculum is influenced and enhanced, removing the artificial separation between the classroom and the real world. Our vision for community learning is that all the students engage in learning, achieve to the best of their ability, and become productive citizens and participants in our democracy.
The students benefit and develop in a 360 degree angle. Not only they come out of their safe zones and venture into the community which is quite different to the one that they have seen or experienced. They learn how to interact, communicate sensitively with people from various backgrounds, they are facilitated to think on the issues concerning their community and understand.
They are encouraged to empathize with the needs and rights of others, critically assess the information available to them, and have a sense of their own active place in the world. Ultimately this leads to the students enquiring into and reflecting on issues independently. They work independently as well as part of a team, directing much of their own learning with the teacher as facilitator.
Research says that while benefits to the communities served can be translated to a monetary figure, the benefits reaped by the young people offering their service have a positive impact on them personally both immediate and into the future. Learning to respect others; learning to be helpful and kind; learning to understand people who are different; developing leadership skills, becoming more patient, and better understanding of citizenship are some of the benefits the students gain through community service.
The skills and developmental assets gained by young people who volunteer early in life translate to future benefits for them personally, and for society.