Extracurricular activities? (Photo credit: ksevik)
Many parents and students do not understand the importance of extra-curricular activities. Over the years I have had to persuade a number of parents to allow their children to continue participating in extra-curricular activities, because they felt that these activities distracted their offspring from their academic work. This scenario tended to unfold either when a student was struggling academically or when the student wanted to focus totally on academics, to the exclusion of everything else. They felt that extra-curricular involvement was a waste of precious time and that it caused their children to get home too late in the evening.
Nothing could be further from the truth than this notion of wasting time. Academic subjects and extra-curricular activities complement each other and develop a well-rounded, socially skilled, and healthier student. There are so many possible extra-curricular activities that each student can choose one that appeals to him or her personally. Activities range from athletics, various sports, scouts, girl guides, debating, music and chess to paramilitary groups like the cadets. This list is not even exhaustive. Some students choose more than one pursuit.
Extra-curricular activities help to develop the whole student. We cannot just produce one-dimensional students in our schools. Many students use their skills in extra-curricular activities like athletics or sports and their academic ability to gain athletic or sports scholarships to various universities. Numerous students from my former school are granted athletic scholarships to American universities in this way.
Researchers like Massoni, Erin ( 2011 ) and others have listed many benefits derived from participation in extra-curricular activities at school. I have seen the same benefits among my former students. Let us consider some of them.
Students who are involved in extra-curricular pursuits tend to improve their academic grades as well. This may be due to increased self-esteem, motivation and better time management. They become better organized in the classroom. They demonstrate a reduction of at-risk behavior and a heightened sense of belonging, resulting in better behaviour.
They learn useful new skills from their chosen activity, and in integrating these activities into their everyday school lives, they learn time management, critical thinking, teamwork and social skills. They develop life-long relationships with their peers and learn how to lead others. These skills will be beneficial in later life and in the workplace.
Extra-curricular activities also foster a sense of commitment to a cause or purpose and they reduce selfish behaviour. Students become more marketable in the workplace.
Through the avenue of extra-curricular activities students find it much easier to gain admission into universities. Modern universities are more interested in recruiting students who have something to offer besides academic qualifications. They seek out students who can make a contribution in other areas to the university and the society at large. Many universities and some schools make money and gain prestige through their extra-curricular engagement in various arenas.
Hopefully, more parents and students will see the importance of extra-curricular activities and diversify and deepen their interests and hobbies. The whole society will benefit. Finally, as one of my readers, AKGM, commented below: “A lot of careers are built directly from hobbies.”
Co-curricular activities facilitate in the development of various domains of mind and personality such as intellectual development, emotional development, social development, moral development and aesthetic development. Creativity, Enthusiasm, and Energetic, Positive thinking are some of the facets of personality development and the outcomes of Extracurricular activities.
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Meaning of Co-curricular Activities
Co-curricular activities (CCAs) earlier known as Extracurricular Activities (ECA) are the components of non-academic curriculum helps to develop various facets of the personality development of the child and students. For all-round development of the child, there is a need of emotional, physical, spiritual and moral development that is complemented and supplemented by Co-curricular Activities.
Definition of Co-curricular Activities
Co-curricular Activities are defined as the activities that enable to supplement and complement the curricular or main syllabi activities. These are the very important part and parcel of educational institutions to develop the students’ personality as well as to strengthen the classroom learning.
These activities are organized after the school hours, so known as extra-curricular activities. Co-curricular Activities have wide horizon to cater to the cultural, social, aesthetic development of the child.
Examples and Types of Co-curricular Activities
- Musical activities
- Debate and discussion
- Declamation contest
- Story writing competition
- Essay writing competition
- Art craft
- Recitation competition
- Wall magazine decoration
- Writes ups for school magazine
- Folk songs
- Folk dance
- Flower show
- School decoration
- Sculpture making
- Fancy dress competition
- Preparation of chart & models
- Album making
- Clay modeling
- Toy making
- Soap making
- Basket making
- Organization exhibitions.
- Celebration of festival
Role of Co-curricular activities in student’s life
Co-curricular activities are the true and practical experiences received by students. To a greater extent, the theoretical knowledge gets strengthened when a relevant co-curricular activity is organized related to the content taught in the classroom. Intellectual aspects of personality are solely accomplished by Classroom, while aesthetic development, character building, spiritual growth, physical growth, moral values, creativity, etc. are supported by co-curricular activities. Frankness and clarity in language and personality is supported by these activities. It helps to develop co-ordination, adjustment, speech fluency, extempore expressions, etc. among student both at the school as well as college levels.
Importance and Benefits of Co-curricular Activities
- Co-curricular activities stimulate playing, acting, singing, recitation, speaking and narrating in students.
- Activities like participation in game debates, music, drama, etc., help in achieving overall functioning of education.
- It enables the students to express themselves freely through debates.
- Games and Sports helps to be fit and energetic to the child.
- Helps to develop the spirit of healthy competition.
- These activities guide students how to organize and present an activity, how to develop skills, how to co-operate and co-ordinate in different situations-all these helps in leadership qualities.
- It provides the avenues of socialization, self-identification and self-assessment when the child come in contact with organizers, fellow participants, teachers, people outside the school during cultural activity.
- Inculcate the values to respects other’s view and feeling.
- It makes you perfect in decision making.
- It develop a sense of belongingness.
- CCA provide motivation for learning.
- CCA develop the values like physical, psychological, Ethical, academic, civic, social, aesthetic, cultural recreational and disciplinary values
Role of a Teacher in Organising curricular Activities
- The teacher must be a good planner so that the different activities could be carried out systematically throughout the year.
- It should be the duty of the teacher to give more and more opportunity to the child while performing co-curricular activities.
- The Teacher should act as Innovator by introducing some innovative programmes.
- The teacher must be a good organiser so that the students experienced maximum of it.
- He should too act like as director, recorder, evaluator, manager, decision maker, advisor, motivator, communicator, coordinator, so that the student and child could gained maximum of finer aspects of Co-curricular activities.
List of Outdoor Co-curricular Activities
- Mass parade
- Mass drill
- Kho kho
- Hand ball
- Trips to place of geographical, historical, economic or cultural interest
- Mass prayer
- Morning assembly
- Social service in neighborhood
- Village Survey
List of Indoor Co-curricular Activities
- Music and dance
- Drawing and painting
- Clay modeling
- First Aid
- Book binding
- Card board work
- Leather work
- Organizing school panchayat
- Student self government
- Art and craft