In the 21st century, the pure academic type of education that students are introduced to, is steadily paving its way to a whole new type of education with a special focus to incorporate three major genres of education: reasoning, psychomotor and emotional learning.
Education is a pretty broad concept that surpasses the four walls of a classroom. The core aim of education is to foster all round development of a child. All round development essentially means intellectual, physical, moral, sensible and social development. All round development can be achieved only through education. Education plays a fundamental role in the making of man and his development as a culturally well developed social animal. To fulfil these objectives, there is a prime need of striking a balance between syllabus, curriculum, books and also co-curricular activities.
Co-curricular activities are those which are undertaken side by side with the curricular activities. A co-curricular activity essentially takes place outside a typical pen and pencil classroom experience. 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. Others generally are voluntary, such as participating in school sports team, school debating team or students’
newsletters. In either case, participation can assist students in more than one ways.
They actually complement the curricular activities and groom the students in the “Art of living and working together.” These are the true and practical experiences gained by students by their own learning.
A Chinese proverb very aptly states, “Teach me, and I will forget. Show me, and I might remember. Involve me, and I will never forget.” To a very great extent, the theoretical knowledge is enhanced when a co-curricular activity, related to the content taught, is organized. Intellectual development of the personality is achieved to a great extent, in the classroom itself. But, the aesthetic development like character building, spiritual and moral values, physical growth, creativity and many more are backed up by co-curricular activities only. It also professes coordination, adjustment, and speech fluency, extempore and debating skills amongst students. It teaches the students to stand up for their rights. Co-curricular activities render a number of values like:
- Educational value
- Psychological Values
- Development of Social Values
- Development of Civic Values
- Physical Development Values
- Recreational Values
- Cultural Values
Co-curricular activities are vital. Though they are not a part of the core curriculum, they play a very crucial role in giving the young boys and girls the ability to mould their lives to become well rounded people. The school activities have to be designed purposefully to give an apt mix of students’ participation in academics and also create a chance for all round development.
Role of co-curricular activities in a student’s life cannot be put into words easily. But let us understand some of the major benefits.
- Overall Personality:
It helps to enhance the all-round personality of the students to strongly face the turbulent road of the future. Experiences and appreciation gained through these activities assist students during internships and other sponsored programs.
- Strengthened Self-Confidence:
The goal of co-curricular activities is to give better fitness to students and inculcate a sense of sportsmanship, competitive spirit, leadership, meticulousness, cooperation and team spirit. The hidden motive behind all this is to develop self-confidence and to learn to trust the team.
- Developed Specialized Skills:
Co-curricular activities help hone the talent of the young minds and give them an opportunity to develop their specialized skills. Competitions that are organized can create a competitive environment and help them work towards the objective of achieving a better society.
- Improved Academic Performance:
Studies have shown that students pursuing their hobbies achieved better results in their studies. Their academic performance goes way up north as they learn to balance their co-curricular activities with their academic pursuits. They also better understand how to manage their time efficiently and also increase their interest in the school. Such activities like participation in debates, drama, music, sports, etc. help in achieving the bigger purpose of achieving better education.
- Greater Opportunities:
In this competitive era, percentages act as game changers during admissions into various courses. Students pursuing any co-curricular activities of their choice are given preference over those who are not involved in any such thing. These things make a major difference when students are considered for the most popular courses.
- Sense of Responsibility:
When students in their early teens are given some responsibility or a task to handle like first aid or for that matter managing the class painting board, their efficiency to handle such situations becomes better. This fosters the sense of responsibility and accountability.
- Exposure to New Activities:
Students are introduced to a whole new horizon of activities that gives them a better insight and lets them choose what they enjoy and what they wish to learn. It broadens new horizons for them. These activities stimulate playing, painting, acting, dancing, singing and speaking skills in students.
There is a huge plethora of options that a student can choose from. Take a little glance at some options that one can choose from. (remove s from all verbs in sports)
The rewards of co-curricular activities in schools have been researched pretty well and it is now certain that students who participate in these activities show higher academic results, stronger relationships in schools and are more likely to lead a healthy and active lifestyle. Students also feel a sense of belonging to the school and have higher self-esteem by participating in structured activities like music, dance, performing arts, etc. In addition to this, students are motivated and it leads to a happier, healthier and a more cohesive school.