Agricultural Land Survey and Development of Agricultural Potential, 2010

SCS units are made of students from four disciplinary clusters:

1. Science and Technology
2. Social Science and Humanities
3. Health and Medicine
4. Agriculture Cluster

In 2010, an ACICIS DSIP student, from the Social Science and Humanities Cluster, was assigned to a project with the theme of: Agricultural Land Survey in Sumber Rahayu Village. This project was designed by a lecturer and students from the Agriculture Cluster. The student was assigned to this project as they had indicated an interest, and past experience, in organic farming. The broad structure of the student’s activities was as follows:

1. Main Program

The Main Program consists of at least five individual projects which are written up in the project plan report. Of the five projects, one must be an inter-disciplinary project and one must be a Main Thematic Program (linked to the theme of Agricultural Land Survey in Sumber Rahayu Village). Following the survey period (in which students consult with the community and identify viable projects), the student came up with the following plan:

Main Program (141.12 hours)
1. Organic garden
2. Composting
3. Seed bank
4. Engagement with local community
5. Publication (making posters)

These projects were, in fact, all linked to the one main project—the construction of a pilot organic garden. Technically, the pilot garden might have been considered to be a single project. However, in order to give the project depth and sufficient time allocation, the student broke down the garden project into five components. He worked with some students from the agriculture faculty (agricultural cluster) to meet inter-disciplinary requirements. At the same time, students from other sub-units were invited to contribute to his project in order to satisfy their requirements for assisting programs (see below). Schoolchildren were invited to paint a mural on the garden wall as a form of community engagement. Locals were interviewed on the types of plants that were in demand, as were students from the health cluster, who were consulted on nutritional matters. As you can see, this simple pilot project drew in a large range of actors.

2. Supporting Main Program

Projects undertaken in Support of the Main Program are non-thematic projects, i.e. they do not necessarily relate to the subject of Agricultural Land Survey in Sumber Rahayu Village. These are activities were conducted with students from the same disciplinary cluster. Our student participated in the following Project in Support of the Main Program:

Supporting Main Program (60.48 hours)
1. Volleyball competition for the village youth

This program was categorised under in the Social Science and Humanities Cluster. It was designed in response to concerns expressed by the village head about high rates of youth unemployment and youth despondency. The project absorbed 60.48 hours of the student’s time on location.

3. Auxiliary Program

Auxiliary Programs are those in which students assist other Sub-Units or the Unit itself in operational work. For example, your Sub-Unit might assist another Sub-Unit for a day of gotong royong (mutual aid) street paving. This would see all students, regardless of their cluster/specialty, working together to assist locals with the paving project.

The Thematic Auxiliary Programis at the level of Unit, whereas the Non-Theme Auxiliary Program is at the level of Sub-Unit.

Auxiliary Program (86.4 hours)
1. Village sanitation clean-up project (Unit)
2. Road-Paving (Sub-Unit)

Further details on the program breakdown and assessment requirements for the DSIP are provided upon arrival. Our staff will assist you in ensuring that you meet all requirements in the field.

In between working on projects, there is plenty of downtime on location. The level of unit and sub-unit activity varies from project to project and the calibre of the students who are assigned to leadership positions. The activities for a single day may, for example, not commence until 6.30pm when a community meeting is to be held to discuss an initiative. Or they may be completed by 10am if the activity for that day was to teach a class on environmental awareness at a local school. SCS is a 24 hour activity in terms of being on location, but work tends to follow the rhythm of the community, not the student group. Being on site is regarded as an important part of the learning experience for SCS students. The philosophy of the program stresses the importance of learning about rural ways of life and approaches to development issues, rather than an instrumental ‘project approach’ to rural development issues.

In order to ensure that ACICIS participants have a satisfactory roster of projects to work on, our staffs work with students in the field to coordinate additional projects or expand upon their primary programs if required.