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Thursday, 30 April 2020

CAS during Covid-19 pandemic - By Divyam Kumar, IBDP1 student

As you all know, ISL decided to shut down during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has put teachers, students, and the ISL staff in a difficult position. Teachers and students have to sit in front of their laptops for long hours as their online classes continue. Teachers wake up to find their inboxes filled to the brim with emails from students struggling to understand concepts. While this goes on, how are the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IBDP) students doing their Creativity, Action, and Service (CAS) activities? CAS is a requirement for the IBDP which involves extracurricular activities (to find out more about CAS, read a previous blog entry entitled “CAS – A Part of the IBDP Experience”). Before the shutdown, the IBDP1 students had a lot of plans for their CAS projects. One group planned to plant trees around the ISL campus and replace the trees that had been cut down due to the widening of Nangwenya road. In fact, this group even managed to fence the newly planted trees that the Mayor of Lusaka had placed beside the swimming pools and the Multipurpose Centre (MPC). Another group went to the Kaunda Square Secondary School and sponsored two students studying there. They planned to take on the role of being the guardians of those two students. Other projects included promoting recycling at ISL, sack gardening, and visiting children who were born in prison as a result of their parents being incarcerated. All this sounds great, but the shutdown has delayed these plans, and staying at home narrows students’ options regarding their CAS activities. Actually, their options haven’t been narrowed, just changed! The IB will not cancel CAS, but it will expect a different kind of CAS – something that can be done in confinement. But what can you do at home? Our IBDP coordinator, Ms. Vignard, has shared a google document that has a list of ideas for creativity, action, or service-related activities. Students could keep a journal to record their experiences during self-quarantine or make YouTube videos. In fact, one IBDP1 student is planning on making a series of videos about cooking (creativity)! Furthermore, students could help out in their gardens or video log their workouts at home (action). Creating flyers/videos to raise awareness about COVID-19 or helping your neighbours are great ideas as well (service). In short, this is a great opportunity for IBDP students to try something different. But what if you or your child is not in the IBDP yet? These activities don’t have to be restricted to the IBDP only. Students doing community service for their International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) could find a creative way to do service from home and ask their teachers if it can count. Students doing any level of the Duke of Edinburgh (DoE) award can still complete their physical recreation, skill, and service sections from home. Besides school, these activities can also help keep students occupied. It is important to remember during times like this when the world seems like it is crashing around you, you may not have the power to change circumstances, but you do have the power to change how you react to them! Why not take this self-quarantine as an opportunity to try something different? Why not turn this shutdown into something positive that you will remember for a long time? Good luck, and stay safe!


  1. Great tips. Thank you Divyam

  2. Great out-of-the-box thinking, in line with the times. Well done!