To celebrate its 10th anniversary this year more meaningfully, UTAR came up with a We-Care-We-Act initiative which is coordinated by UTAR Department of Soft Skills Competency. Under the initiative, UTAR students would participate in voluntary community activities in rural areas which would be held throughout the year. Such We-Care-We-Act community activities were carried out in three villages in February 2012.
A group of 22 students from UTAR Perak Campus spent their 18 and 19 February weekend meaningfully with Chinese primary schoolchildren in Kampung Pahang on Saturday and Tapah Road New Village on Sunday, both in Perak.
The group’s We-Care-We-Act activity was to teach the schoolchildren basic English language and IT skills using computer teaching aids. The student volunteers were well prepared for the sessions. They used laptop computer and LCD projector as teaching aids and tailored the lessons to match the language proficiency level and learning ability of the schoolchildren. Led by their group leader, an English Education student, at the school, the group was divided into five subgroups each teaching one of the language components of speaking, listening, reading, writing and grammar. Besides English exercises, to make learning fun, activities also included games, songs, and video clips. There was also a personal coaching session where all student volunteers got together to guild the schoolchildren.
"The programme has been an interesting way for schoolchildren to acquire some basic English language and IT skills," said headmistress Soon Shann Hwa of SJK (C) Kampung Pahang.
"It is a good programme for students to boost their learning interest on the usage of IT and computer," said MCA Tapah Road district community service committee member Ho You Meng, after thanking the UTAR students for volunteering in the noble cause to help the village children.
Overall, the activity had aroused the interest of the village children in learning English and improved their English and IT skills.
Kampung Pahang: English lesson in session
Kampung Pahang: Outdoor activities in progress
Tapah Road: Schoolchildren having group activities
The UTAR We-Care-We-Act initiative reached Pekan Getah New Village in the outskirt of Tapah on 25 February.
Led by staff from UTAR Department for Soft Skills Competency, 28 students from various faculties visited the village to promote the use of homemade organic enzymes for a greener environment to the locals including primary schoolteachers and children in the village community hall.
The students also shared with the audience how to produce the enzymes from household wastes such as fruit and vegetable peels. The wastes were put in a large used water bottle with a bit of brown sugar, bacteria culture stock and enough water. Within days, the material would be fermented by the bacteria and produced enzymes which could be used as a floor detergent that would kill germs. Therefore producing homemade enzymes, the students explained, would reduce and reuse wastes and be environmental friendly. The students left some vegetative wastes, enzyme samples which would serve as the bacteria culture stock and water bottles for the villagers to try out producing enzymes on their own.
UTAR student: Let me show you how you produce enzymes.
UTAR students and staff posing with the locals by the community hall