Asha Singh, PGT (BIOLOGY) Kendra Vidyalaya
Co- Curricular Activities(CCA) are those activities which complement the conventional academic curriculum. Which means they fall out of a regular class room curriculum still are a part of the school or college life.These are held outside standard curriculum hours and the activities partaken depend on the nature of the institute and occasion.
Today these activities have become more profound than ever before and are not examined in the same way that the academic curriculum is, and because most of them take place outside lessons, such activities have less status in education than the main curriculum. However, they are often held to be very important to the wider education of young men and women. Co-curricular activities form the core of students’ life. Many schools and colleges have different units like clubs or houses in which all the students have been divided into four houses. Each house has a house Master & staff of the school to guide the students for various internal competitions.
Difference between Co-curricular and Extra-Curricular Activities
Co-curricular activities are also referred as ‘Extra-curricular’ activities. Grammatically speaking there is a difference between the two. Extra-curricular is self explanatory, i.e. Activity which is extra or additional to curricular but is more leisure oriented than learning oriented. Extra-curricular activities are mostly conducted after school hours. They generally don’t complement academic studies. However, some of the activities overlap each other; some extra-curricular activities can also be co-curricular and vice versa. Depending upon the institutes certain activities are considered co-curricular while for some it is extra-curricular. Therefore, in academic sphere, there isn’t any clear consensus as to which is what? Thus, the gap between the two is negligible in academic sense.
Many parents and students do not understand the importance of CCA. 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.
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 appeal to him or her personally. The list is not even exhaustive. Some students may even choose more than one pursuit according to their interest. 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 sportsscholarships to various universities.
How is it helping student to perform well academically ?
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 organised in the classroom. They demonstrate a reduction of at-risk behaviour 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.
ROLE OF CCA IN OVER ALL DEVELOPMENT AND COPING SYLLABUS STRESS
It helps to develop the all-round personality of the students to face the undaunted task and turbulent world of future. Experience and accolades gained through many of these activities help during internships and other school sponsored work programs.
The aim of curricular activities is to make the students fit for the future time and to develop a sense of competitive spirit, co-operation, leadership, diligence, punctuality, team-spirit as well as to provide a backdrop for the development of their creative talents. When ever some one is chosen as a head boy or is given leadership in certain matters, it boosts self-confidence and sense of achievement.
Additional activities for school students are a means to enhance social interaction, leadership, healthy recreation, self-discipline and self-confidence. Competitions may also be organised to create a competitive environment and groups with an objective to work towards a better society and the world as well.
In today’s competitive world, percentage makes a lot of difference during admission into various courses. Such students are given preference as compared to non participants. These may make a difference when the students are considered for the most popular courses.
When the students in their early teens are given some responsibilities like giving first aid they acquire a sense of responsibility.
Such activities divert student’s attention from harmful activities like drugs, crime etc. It channelizes their energies in fruitful activities.
Physical activities like running, football etc. help not only in the physical fitness they also refresh the burdened mind from subjects and provide students rejuvenation.
Above all it beats the monotony of vast syllabus and students go back to their subjects fresh and alive after such interesting breaks.
Hopefully, more parents and students will see the importance of extra-curricular activities and diversify and deepen their interests and hobbies.