“All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy.”
In the 21st century, the pure academic type of education that students are introduced to, is steadily paving 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 a 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 beyond that.
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 student 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.” They are the true and practical experiences gained by students by their own learnings.
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 because even 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 student’s 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.
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, team spirit and team spirit. The hidden motive behind all this is to develop self-confidence and to learn to trust the team.
- Developed Specialised Skills:
Co-curricular activities help hone the talents of the young minds and gives them an opportunity to develop their specialised skills. Competitions that are organized can create a competitive environment and helps 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 on how to manage their time efficiently and also increases 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.
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 things. These things make a major difference when students are considered for the most popular courses.
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 much 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.
The rewards of co-curricular activities in schools have been researched pretty well and it is now ascertain 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.
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We are living in an era where traditional classroom teaching is not enough for the overall development of a child. That’s where co-curricular activities come in. While traditional classrooms are generally designed to develop a child’s theoretical knowledge, the other aspects of learning such as moral development, social development, creative development, civic development, emotional development and physical development of a child are developed by co-curricular activities.
Definition of co-curricular activities
Co-curricular activities are those activities that complement the traditional way of classroom teaching but do not fall under the normal curriculum of the school.
Some examples of co-curricular activitiesare singing, dancing, drawing, painting, acting, weaving, sculpting, story writing, essay writing, calligraphy, recitation, taking part in quiz competition, wall magazine decoration of a school and contributing to school magazine etc. For those who are interested, these activities can be found in the best ib school in Pune in India.
Top benefits of students from involvement in co-curricular activities
Social skill development of a child and relationship nurturing
Students who participate in co-curricular activities can easily adjust in a group environment. They use the advantage of the team effort to achieve goals that an individual could not have done within a limited timeframe.
Improvement of time management skills
Studies have shown that students who participate in co-curricular activities have a greater understanding of time management than those who don’t participate in co-curricular activities. They learn to prioritize their work and in short time they manage to complete the task they are committed to.
Exposure to a vast range of activities
Students who participate in co-curricular activities are able to see a new horizon with a number ofcreative possibilities. A vast range of activities helps them understand their own knacks and potentials. It can be anything from participating in a theater group and exploring their inner artist to competing in sports.
Having a spontaneous affection for a particular subject (May it be inside or outside of the curriculum, academic or non-academic) can help a child to develop a ‘more than average skill’ in an activity, which will pave a path for superior learning. He will have a high self-esteem of himself even if he lacks in academic background.
Students who participate in co-curricular activities are able to have a deeper sense of long-term commitment to a work and dedicate their time and effort to that task until it gets done. They not only just finish their job, but also come back again for more work which shows deep affection and respect for the work.
Development of a special skill which they might pursue in future as their career
Students participating in co-curricular activities sometimes stumble upon an activity they grow so fond of that they pursue that activity throughout their entire life. Thus, participating in any co-curricular activity can also help a child’s career if he is able to find his niche.
Different types of co-curricular activities have different kinds of benefits. Studies have shown that artistic activities help children to develop creative expression and problem-solving skills. While musical activities focus on developing patience, sports activities generally help to improve coordination. But in general, it is found that those who take part in co-curricular activities also have a higher rate of academic success. Thousands of cases are found where co-curricular activities have increased students’ motivation along with their attendance.