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22 November, 2017 10:53:56 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 22 November, 2017 11:07:58 AM

Importance of extra and co-curricular activities

Masum Billah
Importance of extra and co-curricular activities

Extra or co-curricular activities indicate the works our students do beyond their academic works. Curricula involves classroom teaching, instructional education, examination, evaluation while co-curricular activities encompass singing, dancing, gardening, mass drill, community work, games .In curricular education, students spend their time in the classroom,  laboratory, workshop, or doing important assignments for class work. But in case of extra-curricular activities, students perform work such as cleaning road & school, gardening, painting, swimming, taking part in games and sports, creative art and so on. These activities are uttered by the educationists and teachers but they receive little importance from them practically mainly because our next tiers of education and job market assess or put emphasis on the academic certificates our learners gain. So, a valid reason works behind not giving due importance to extra- curricular activities. Educationists say “Activities sponsored or recognized by a school or college which are not part of the academic curriculum but are acknowledged to be an essential part of the life of an educational institution.” “Various social and other types of activities like literary, dramatic, social services etc. which attract the attention of the child are considered as extracurricular activities.  Extracurricular activities have been renamed by educationists as co-curricular, which implies that all these activities are a part of school curriculum”.- according  to Mittal (1999).

With a view to developing various facets of personality development and holistic growth of children; classroom teaching should be supplemented with co-curricular activities. These out of class activities affect all domains of life such as cognitive, emotional, social, moral, cultural and aesthetic. Competitiveness, excellence, quality achievements, creativeness and enthusiasm are few of the ethics of extra-curricular activities. Co-curricular activities supplement and complement the entire teaching-learning process and effectively impact student learning outcomes. It strengthens the classroom teaching and helps to clear the concept of topics. Extra-curricular activities give emphasize upon aesthetic as well as spiritual development, which are the essential components of education.  It helps in developing features like speech fluency and extempore. Such activities are good platform to excel in acting, singing, speaking, and recitation.

Amalgamating co-curricular or extra-curricular activities with curricula promises all-round development of students. Co-curricular activities help in realization of aims and objectives of education. In the practical life, the students become able to express their ideas freely due to active participation in debate and extempore. Discussion also helps in generating ideas and inculcating values. Games and Sports make them mentally and physically fit and sound. Games make them learn how to perform while losing or wining an event. Sometimes, classroom teaching becomes monotonous and routine. Here, co-curricular activities can bring pleasant and joyous experiences.

Thus, co-curricular activity has many advantages in student’s life of school, college and university’s-curricular activities not only make the students active and energetic but also enable to harness the in-depth potential of students.  It nurtures student’s ability in co-operation, co-ordination, organization and lead a student toward leadership. Extra-curricular activities provide exposure to personality and helps in psychological and sociological transformation.

The participation in drama enables in developing balanced personality. People get acquainted with culture, customs, and activities of other places due to co-curricular activities such as field trips, tours and excursion. It inculcates the feelings of harmony, thus develop unity and togetherness in the society. In community work, students require to meet with many people and develop the capability of adjustment. Since, in many co-curricular activities, children have to perform in groups, and performing as a team develops the sense of belongingness

How schools can arrange some extra and co-curricular activities:

Recitation—Bengali and English: Some Bengali and English poems can be selected from the textbooks of the students. Similarly, some more poems suitable for the children can be selected from outside for recitation. In each term there will be some fixed pomes for recitation. Usually, the students will practice them on Thursday after fourth period. Teachers should learn intonation and pronunciation so that students can learn correctly from them.

 Simple story telling: Some stories from their texts will be given to the students. A certain time will be given to them to ponder over the story. Then they will continue the stories using their imagination. Beginning of a story will be told by the teacher and then students will be asked to complete it according to their own way. In the same way, drawing, painting, music practices can be conducted by the direct intervention of the teachers. Of course, school committees must be made aware  of the  utilities of extra and co-curricular activities by the head teacher.

 School Magazine and Wall Magazine: One school magazine can be developed once a year. And Wall Magazine to be developed on any national day such as Victory Day, National Mourning Day, International Language Day. Both the magazines will be in Bengali but teachers’ articles can be in English  as well. Observing National and Social Festivals: observing these will be followed as a regular phenomenon and school yearly calendar will mention how and when to observe these days.  Book Reading Competition through fun: This can be a monthly or bi-monthly program.

Several books will be distributed in several groups. There will be a leader in each group. The group leader or any one of the group will describe before other groups the theme of the story they have read. This will help them learn four or five books even though they have read only one book individually.  Arranging cultural programs: This can be arranged as term-end event or twice a year.

 Songs, drama, quiz, will be the items of this program. Arranging picnic and Sports: These will be yearly event at the end of December of maximum in January next year. Visiting to Museum, Zoo or other local/national historical places: It can be term-end or yearly event. Arranging Fair: This will be a yearly event. All the drawings, paintings other creative and visual works done in a year will be displayed in the fair. Simple tools and science instruments can be drawn for the fair. Some science instruments will also be displayed in the fair to make students acquainted with them and their functions.

Children practicing music learn about rhythm, tunes and different ways to make music through repetition of songs, movements, and instruments. They learn how to balance, jump and go through different obstacles while doing gymnastics. It keeps them active and healthy. These types of activities help children learn discipline, train their mind, and strengthen their body. Dance builds confidence, coordination, and kinesthetic intelligence.  Swimming create awareness, especially about personal safety.  It also helps children develop personal growth, which helps with self-development and development of others.  

Children should be allowed to select their own extra-curricular activities based on their interests and personality type, rather than the ones they are persuaded to do by their parents and teachers.

It’s important for parents to listen when kids express interest in certain activities, especially if it’s something they ask about on an ongoing basis and that is related to how they already spend their free time.

The writer works in BRAC

Education Programme




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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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