Students studying the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme at the Aga Khan Academy Hyderabad volunteer their time on various projects that enable service-based learning. Last September, around 28 students planted more than 300 different varieties of organic vegetables and flowers on the Academy campus.
With excitement in the air, grins on their faces and hopes of creating something new, students were seen geared-up, hurdling towards the farm, to try their hands at organic farming. Within a few days, they had planted around 98 saplings of each of eggplant, green chili, tomatoes and marigold flower.
As a part of the IB Diploma Programme, Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) enables young students to experience real-life scenarios that help them to achieve a state of personal well-being.
Students who chose organic farming as their CAS project are learning about the process of growing organic plants, right from the stage of planning, ploughing, seeding, weeding, harvesting, to finally selling the crops in the market. Students are under constant guidance provided by their project supervisors and the CAS coordinator, who are not only overseeing their tasks, but are also helping students to identify problem areas and discussing with them effective ways of arriving at solutions.
Expressing his happiness over students demonstrating pro-activeness at farming, Mr Venkat Reddy, CAS Coordinator said, “I feel extremely proud of our students’ sincere dedication and hard work. Their initiative to work both individually and collaboratively towards accomplishing their responsibilities at farming is simply commendable! Our team is making sure that farm responsibilities are rotated periodically so that each participant gets an opportunity to experience all aspects of farming.”
The Academy believes that it is important to integrate academic teachings with work readiness, life skills and mental resourcefulness. When combined, they help craft a holistic learning environment. Farming, in fact, is just one of the many opportunities for its students to learn many valuable life lessons through hands-on learning.
This text was adapted from an article published on the Aga Khan Academy website.