Community involvement is the cornerstone of the Riara University Education philosophy. Each year many high school students enter institutions of higher learning to gain skills that will enable them earn an income either as entrepreneurs or through employment. Majority may not realize that the skills gained have a direct impact on the society in which they live and that the training gained is not only beneficial to them but also to the society at large. The community service program is tailored to combine reflective learning with service towards a common good. The coordination office is established to ensure that the programs chosen and the service given by students are of high quality and sustainable over a long period of time. Service combined with learning adds value to each and transforms both (Honnet and Poulsen, 1989).
In order to quality for graduation, students are required to take a minimum of 100hours engaging in community based attachment where they are expected to offer their time and effort to improve the community. This unpaid work may be undertaken in children’s homes, orphanages, hospitals, disadvantaged schools, slums, prisons, juvenile courts, remand schools, Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s) etc. Such work may include legal aid, basic Information Communication Technology (ICT) services or any other charitable work as may be required.
The objectives of the program are:
- To mould students to become responsible and provide patriotic citizens who are mindful of others in the society.
- To develop positive vision, values and attitudes in students that will lead to positive character formation and transformation of society.
- To enable students and the university to give back to the society as part of the University’s corporate social responsibility.
- To establish networks with charitable, legal aid (LLB students) and other organizations as a foundation for job placement with Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs), humanitarian and other institutions.
- To equip students with the skills necessary for responding to development challenges and problems.
- To enable students to experience and be exposed to realities of life.