APIIT students blend education with recreation and social service
Education cannot be confined to the classroom. The importance of extra-curricular activities in moulding a true professional cannot be overemphasised. At APIIT-Sri Lanka, the leading higher education institute that offers British Degrees in Computing/ IT and Business Management, students are continuously encouraged and supported to undertake numerous recreational activities and community projects. Here, two APIIT students share their experience of blending education with recreation and community service.
The Gift of Giving
“Part of being a person is about helping others”, said Seth Caplan. Understandably, a group of APIIT students (batch DF0711BA) felt a greater need to contribute to the society at large while continuing their higher studies at APIIT. Having heard of a shortage of equipment and drugs for treating patients suffering from a rare genetic disorder known as ‘thalassemia’ at the Kurunegala General Hospital, the students decided to raise funds to donate equipment to the thalassemia ward.
Carl Sandburg once said that “Nothing happens unless first a dream”. Dream indeed did APIIT students in coming up with a way to raise the necessary funds; what better way one can think of to raise funds for a worthy cause than to tap into one’s own resourcefulness and talents. Thus was born the concept of ‘tantalize’, a talent show by APIIT students, to provide quality entertainment, strengthen the bonds of friendship amongst students, provide a platform for fellow APIIT students to unleash their talents on stage and finally achieve the ultimate goal of raising enough funds to purchase equipment for the ‘thalassemia’ ward.
After weeks of effort organizing, practicing and rehearsing, the ‘tantalize’ went on stage at the Bishops College auditorium. It was indeed a great success, a memorable evening of music, dance and entertainment in front of a full house that turned up despite the unpredictable security situation in the country.
The culmination of the project activities took place with the donation of the equipment to Kurunegala Hospital on the 14th of August, 2008 amongst a gathering of APIIT students, lecturers and management staff. The solemn ceremony was held at the APIIT City Campus and Mr. Shilanth Boteju, the Chief Operations Officer of APIIT-Sri Lanka handed over the equipment to Dr. Ashok Perera who represented the Hospital.
APIIT students were seen overflowing with a true sense of fulfilment. It had also been a deep learning experience. The words of Amanda Troillett come to mind: “The connections and relationship with the community that develop through community service add an invaluable layer to education”.
APIIT Sixes 2008 – A Day of Fun
27 teams, 35 matches, and 189 players - Sunday, 10th of August 2008 had St. Peter’s College ground ablaze with sixes being hit in all directions, display of bowling prowess, excellent fielding and nail biting finishes. The APIIT Sixes was an electrifying day filled with fun, cricket, excellent sportsmanship, good food and most importantly good friends. It was a day enjoyed by all ages where tiny tots could be seen enjoying themselves alongside the youth, the middle-aged and the not-so-old. It was an occasion for students to relax away from the stresses of work and to meet with the alumni who have made APIIT what it is. And, it was a pleasing sight indeed to see APIIT lecturers and APIIT students playing cricket together and having fun in a spirit of camaraderie.
The APIIT Sixes provided a platform for both male and female students to display their skills on the field. While some teams were downright competitive, others took part for the fun of it, perhaps out of a desire to participate. But it was evident that everyone had loads of fun and the sportsmanship displayed by the teams was commendable; there were no arguments or disagreements and the professional umpires’ decisions were accepted with humility. Soon after the conclusion of the Sixes the teams got together to celebrate in true APIIT style – winners, runners up and the cheering squads all joining together to celebrate the participation at the event.
The APIIT Sixes is an annual event that attracts active participation of both students and staff. This year saw the highest participation and tremendous success with students walking away with many awards. I have no doubt that the fond memories will last for a long time, far beyond our student days.
|APIIT students share their expertise and knowledge
|“If you have knowledge, let others light their candles in it” - Margaret Fuller
Knowledge has always been a gift and a true virtue. It is as important to impart and share knowledge as it is to gain. The students of the Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (APIIT-Sri Lanka) have been doing just this through their Youth Training Programme. Initiated by the Students Activity Club of APIIT and supported by the APIIT management as part of their Corporate Social Responsibility drive, this initiative is an example of how much the undergraduates of our country can do to build an IT literate society.
June 7th marked yet another day that students of APIIT gave back to the community. This youth training programme organised by the Student Activity Club of APIIT and conducted over 4 weeks of June was on Office Computing.
APIIT most generously put its outstanding resources at the students’ disposal and the students in turn tapped into their proficiency in Computing/ IT to provide a helping hand to those who haven’t had the exposure to the world of computing.
The training was conducted in Sinhala/ Tamil and covered areas such as Computer use, Internet and E-mail. The trainees comprised a mixed group of 30 eager participants. The programme was facilitated by current students of APIIT with demonstrable prowess in the area of office computing. The initial session provided an inspiring introduction with attractive visual aids and handouts. Each participant was provided with a computer throughout the training to ensure adequate hands on experience. Students were seen enthusiastically assisting the trainees to follow the instructions provided by the lecturer. At the end of the training, participants expressed their delight at being proficient in Office Computing. The purpose of the programme was to enable the selected youth from disadvantaged backgrounds to confidently face employment opportunities and be comfortable in an IT environment. APIIT students were agog with the realisation as to how much value they can add to the community they live in. As in the words of Owen Arthur, “often, we are too slow to recognize how much and in what ways we can assist each other through sharing such expertise and knowledge.”
This is yet another instance where APIIT students took part in a community development project. During their studies at APIIT, students are encouraged to take part in numerous extracurricular activities including community development projects to enhance their soft skills and civic consciousness. As a leading higher education institution in the country, APIIT’s goal is to produce outstanding professionals who are also socially responsible citizens.