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Service Education in Schools to Create Far-Reaching, Positive Changes

Wall of happiness: As part of the JIS Peduli programme, high school creative arts students paint a mural in collaboration with the Yayasan Ronald McDonald House Charity (RMHC) at the RMHC family room at Dr. Cipto Mangunkusumo Hospital.

Jakarta Intercultural School (JIS) is fostering social responsibility, community spirit, and empathy through service education. Schools and universities around the world have included service education as a fundamental part of their learning programmes.

The concept combines both academic objectives with relevant community service is an immersive way. Students can utilise the skills they’ve learnt in class and therefore be part of holistic learning experience while staying in tune with environmental and social issues.

JIS has had service education on its curriculum in Indonesia for the past 70 years. The interdisciplinary approach is embedded in JIS’s curriculum at every grade level, from early years ages 3-5, through to grade 12 aged 17-18, including student-led co-curricular activities to help communities anywhere and everywhere in the country.

In social studies courses, students conduct research, advocacy, and service campaigns linked to real-world problems such as water pollution, economic development, and refugee crises. Moreover, JIS high school’s creative arts and design technology classes involve students creating murals as well as undertaking furniture design and production in hospitals, orphanages, and other similar organisations. English classes, meanwhile, invite students to explore themes of disability, child trafficking, migrant labour, and gender exploitation through literature. Later, students are required to develop personal connections and gain insights with local yayasan (nonprofit foundations), schools, NGOs, and experts.

At JIS elementary school, a highly anticipated annual charity event called “Stitch It Week”, has students designing diverse, useful, daily items such as tote bags, pillow covers, and small pillow ornaments which will then be developed by special guest and machine-embroidery artist Pak Dik-Dik, who’s been participating for the past 16 years. Proceeds of each item sold during this tradition go to charities that help put children from underprivileged families through school.

Spirit of stitching: With the help of a machine-embroidery artist, young artists at JIS’s Pattimura elementary school campus create various items for sale, such as tote bags, pillow covers, and small pillow ornaments that they designed themselves.

Nonetheless, service programmes created by JIS students are always welcome. One such initiative is called “Hope for Hygiene”, set up in order to donate hygiene products to charities and hospitals. There’s also the “Combined Team”, led by three after-school clubs dedicated to making masks, soap, and hand sanitiser to distribute to various communities, as well as the “Conquer Cancer Club” that raises funds for foundations such as Yayasan Kasih Anak Kanker Indonesia (YKAKI) and Mary’s Cancer Kiddies.

Helping the ecosystem: JIS students learn all about mangroves and their ecosystems, such as how they function, why they’re so important for the environment, and how they’re related to the marine issues of Jakarta’s coastline.

JIS also provides support for service-learning initiatives and coordination of the school’s response to disasters, initiated through JIS Peduli (JIS Cares) – a schoolwide organisation run by JIS students, teachers, administrators, and staff members. With JIS Peduli, families and schools affected by natural disasters in Indonesia including the earthquakes in Palu, Central Sulawesi and Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, along with the victims of massive flooding in Jakarta, all receive support.

One house at a time: JIS high school students, accompanied by chaperones and the head of the school, Dr. Tarek Razik, Ed.D, lend a hand to Habitat for Humanity while learning about the day-to-day lives of local residents of a rural area of Sentul in Bogor, West Java.

The COVID-19 outbreak has impacted the capital in numerous ways. Inspired by the Indonesian spirit of gotong royong (cooperation), JIS Peduli is dedicated to assisting those in need.

With the help of Jakarta-based alumni, JIS Peduli has teamed up with the Artha Graha Peduli (AGP) COVID-19 Response Centre to distribute 1,000 home-care sanitation kits to low-income neighbourhoods located near the school’s Cilandak campus in South Jakarta. Further, 300 packages filled with food supplies were handed out to security personnel, cleaners, and bus drivers.

JIS students and teachers have also joined in the mitigation efforts. A group of 11th-graders developed aerosol boxes as personal protective equipment (PPE) for medical workers treating COVID-19 patients, while a JIS middle school, teachers teamed up with the Gerakan Kepedulian (GK) Club to design and test face masks to donate and sell in bundles. Within three weeks, over 2,500 masks, along with 800 free masks, were distributed to low-income neighbourhoods in Jakarta.

Recently, a new initiative called “Share Your Care” by the JIS high school and middle school Gerakan Kepedulian (GK) club members has been set up. People who are dearest and nearest to the JIS community – families, teachers, and staff members – are encouraged to sponsor GK families or JIS Blue Bird Driver families, or both, during the ongoing outbreak.

Service education at JIS is about fostering respect and care while also trying to provide solutions to real-world problems. Thus, positive changes will be made by JIS students by any means necessary.

Also Read: Families in South Jakarta Received 1,000 Home Sanitation Kits from JIS and AGP

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