Walking the extra mile
Education has an important role in the professional development of a person. But, equally important are the other aspects of a person’s life and there needs to be a fine balance of both the curricular and extra-curricular activities to achieve this.
The core aim of education is to foster an all-round development of a child which essentially means intellectual, physical, moral, and social development.
In that respect, extra-curricular activities form an important part of a student’s life. However, many parents view them as ‘waste of time’ as they feel that one cannot achieve anything from them. However, research suggests that it’s not just in the classroom hours that young minds can be nurtured–pupils who participate in extracurricular activities perform better academically and socially.
Besides being a stress reliever, these activities boost socialising with peers and also enhance student’s time and management skills. Students participating in extracurricular works are better equipped to live in groups by developing leadership skills and managing stress in an efficient manner. There are different ways in which extra-curricular activities can be encouraged in a school.
1. The school should allow teachers to do activities that they are passionate about. Like a teacher who may be interested in music can take up teaching music or a teacher who is good at dramatics can take acting classes.
2. Get senior pupils involved in leading activities for the younger years.
3. Remember that there is so much more to our pupils than just the exam candidate and these activities allow them to develop their characters doing something they genuinely love.
Types of extra-curricular activities
These activities are generally undertaken side by side with the curricular activities. It gives the students an opportunity to develop particular skills and exhibit their non-academic abilities.
These activities might be compulsory, such as music, art or drama classes that take place during the day. Some are voluntary, such as participating in school sports teams, school debating teams, creating student newsletters etc. Sports activities include basketball, baseball, racquet games and other activities.
Extra-curricular activities assist students in more than one way. They are essential in the aesthetic development of a student like their physical growth, character building, spiritual and moral values and also enhance their creativity. There are some qualities that can be acquired like coordination, adjustment and co-operation. In public speaking sessions, a child can receive some fine tuning like speech fluency, extempore and debating skills.
Another interesting benefit of extra-curricular activities is that they can be opted as a career choice too. Imagine making money out of your hobby. This option is for those students who do not want to go for a traditional career choice and choose unconventional professions. It is through these classes that they realise their potential and liking for a certain vocation like dance, arts. acting, painting, singing, sports, etc. which will eventually be their career choice.
(The author is a Retired Principal based at Malout in Punjab)