R.E.A.L Schools often organizes environmental-awareness trips for students as a way to give back to Mother Nature. This year, the focus of the Pastoral Care department of R.E.A.L International School, Suria Campus, Cheras was on endangered mangrove forests. Earlier this year, 21 students accompanied by several teachers convoyed on a humanitarian adventure to the Environmental Interpretive Centre (EIC), a mangrove conservation establishment, to learn about mangroves, the harmful activities that imperil its living and ways to take part in conservation efforts.
Upon arriving at the centre, the students were ushered into a room where there were shown a slideshow on the importance of mangrove conservation. The slideshow flooded the students with fascinating facts about mangroves and by the end of it, they were left hungry to know more. The next task gave the students hands-on experience on how to protect the plantation area of mangroves. Despite the scorching hot day, they listened intently to the instructor and their enthusiasm and energy to get involved did not dissipate. Commendably, the Surians displayed full cooperation amongst each other to complete the tasks.
R.E.A.L education focuses on the desired outcomes or results through a learning process that is engaging and stimulating. We believe that integration of the human senses; mainly sight, touch, smell, hear and taste in any activity improves one’s learning experience. We also trust that students acquire knowledge better when they fully immerse themselves in an active learning environment. Therefore, we maximize opportunities where students learn by doing.
The information-rich visit to the EIC ended around midday. Even though the time spent at the centre was brief, the Surians’ humanitarian quest did not end there. The last stop of the trip was at a local beach where the students put the knowledge they acquired at EIC to good use. R.E.A.L teachers make it a habit to instill good values and practices at every opportunity, be it in school or during excursions. They assigned their charges to clean a designated beach area – a task that they were more than glad to complete. Not only were they elated by the serene sight of the low-tide beach, but the prospect of a cleaner beach pleased them just as much.
The purpose of this trip was to promote awareness amongst students of environmental issues and to transform this awareness into a principle that is applied to various aspects of real life. This goes back to character education which is fully embedded into the R.E.A.L curriculum to ensure the cultivation of values in our schools. The spirit of collaboration instilled in completing the multiple tasks functions seamlessly with character building to inculcate desirable traits such as teamwork and social responsibility into our students’ list of attributes.