Few days ago, my friends from several other DGCE office are talking about the obstacles they faced in maintaining the existence of English Club at their own respective office. Now, based on what my mentor said earlier, i'd love to share a tips for you guys, about how to maintain the existance of our organization (not only english club, it could be applied to other form of learning-type organization as well). Basically, what we need are 4 Cs. What are those Cs?
The first C is coordinator. In an english club, or mentoring group, or any learning-type club, no matter how big or how small it is, we need to have a certain person that act as the coordinator. Someone who leads the others, to share the jobdesc, to arrange the meetings, etc. Basically a leader, though not always act as the boss, but the one who has the willingness to sacrifice his time and energy to gather all other members to the club.
While the club might be created by the idea of a certain person, the club should create a board of coordinators to split the task of maintaining the organization. It's hard to do everything by yourself, mate. So we have to find several person with specific capability regarding to his position in the club's board of coordinator. Some people are better in handling administrative duties, some other has a good PR skill. Placing the right person for the right job is a must here.
The second C is, the conscript. Or the members. If someone has the willingness to spare his/her time creating and maintaining such a club, it would be meaningless if there're noone beside him/her, right? So of course we need the members. Either the ones who join voluntarily, or the ones who were forced to join (i heard that in some other office, the creation of an english club is mandatory). No matter what their reasons are, having member is a must. No member, no club. Just a coordinator/creator/inspirator who still couldn't find a recruit. One does not simply create a club with only him/herself, right?
That might sounds like a self proclaimed King, in a far away land, but no other people in the area to become his citizen. Do you know where is that far away land? That's right, that's your dream-land.
The third C, is curriculum. Basically, what we are going to learn by joining the club at the first place. If it is a mentoring club, then what kind of activity that we have? A tahsin? Hafidz programme? Khotbah training? Rihlah? Or else?
If it is an english club, what kind of activity that we have? Learning grammar? Listening? TOEFL preparation? Speech? Writing contest?
We need to define what kind of programme that we will do during a year, for example. What to achieve. If the aim is to encourage the members to speak inenglish, so we must have a conversation class. If the aim is to join a writing competition, then we must teach about writing technique. THe curriculum depends on the aim of the organization. So the coordinator should decide the aim first, of course. We couldn't make a club without proper activity schedule, unless what we want is just wasting time, right?
To make sure that the curriculum could fulfill the aim of the organization, it should be delivered by someone capable. So the coordinator(s) should look forward for it. That's the job of the coordinators, right?
And the last C, is commitment. Without commitment, the club will be like the giant panda-plummeting into extinction. Sounds good if the club's aim is to join the dinosaurs. But I'm sure nobody would create a club just to join the dinosaurs into the extinction. So commitment is a must. All people related to the club must commit themselves to the club, respective to their position. The coordinators must commit to their duties, while the conscript must commit to join the club till the end . . . Unfortunately, commitment is a rare item in the club-maintaining-club. Even larger organizations might find themselves lack of commit members/coordinators. It's not an easy job to commit to your club till the end. But it's not impossible. At least, commit to it as long as you can. As long as your aim could be fulfilled by joining the club, why should you leave, right? If the club doesn't interest you, why joining in the first place? Go find another club that sparks your interest, mate.
As a conclusion, any club might face this kind of problem, at a point of their life. No club stands forever. But while we can make it last, why not?
Keep your spirit high, dear friend. We are all facing the very same problem that plagued almost every other club on earth. So for every problem, we might find a solution. Just keep searching. And goodluck to you.