In recent times, the term ‘extra-curricular activities’ have been referred to as ‘co-curricular activities’, as they dominate the functioning of the school, and also because the aim of modern education is the all-round development of the child. The term ‘Curriculum’ slowly and gradually gave way to the inclusion of multiple activities. This was when the activities termed as ‘Extra-curricular activities’ made their appearance. These activities that led to the mental, physical, emotional and social development in an orderly manner are now rightly termed as ‘co-curricular activities’. The present educational system lays great stress on these activities as the education you know is expected to bring about the all-round development of the individual, thus realizing the aims of ‘man-making education’. In the words of J.R. Shannon, “the participation in co-curricular activities is more likely to produce wholesome attractive personalities than routine class work.”
Co-curricular activities are those activities that are conducted apart from the formal teaching-learning in the classroom, which only provides the knowledge prescribed. These activities are performed by students, which fall outside the realm of the mandatory regular curriculum of the school, college or university education. Co-Curricular activities exist for all students. Such activities are generally voluntary social, philanthropic, sports and often involve others of the same age. Co-curricular activities help in the overall development of the pupils, by helping to develop the physical, intellectual, social and emotional aspects.
NEED AND IMPORTANCE
The playground has been called the cradle of democracy. Each student should, therefore, be given the opportunity for taking part in one game or the other. This is fully supported by Aldus Huxley when he says that sports inculcate responsible cooperation. The importance of co-curricular activities, although stem out of the reasons for these to be included in the school programme. These may be listed as follows:
But it is necessary that activities should be sufficient in range and variety to provide opportunities for all the pupils desiring to participate in them. Co-Curricular Activities are classified into the following categories:
Literary activities give practice and improve the written as well-spoken abilities of the pupils by encouraging them and providing opportunities to participate in them. Literary activities include Debates and Discussions, Symposium, Story-Writing Competition, Essay-Writing Competition, Newspaper Reading, Library Work, Dramatics etc.
Activities for Physical Development
Physical fitness is a very important need for pupils. Sports and games are therefore to be included in the school programme to promote physical fitness and proper growth and development of the body. The functional efficiency of the body can be maintained only when there is a provision of regular physical exercise. A few forms of physical exercises include Mass Drill, Indoor Games, Outdoor Games, Athletics, and Wrestling.
Activities to Develop Citizenship Qualities
Effective citizenship cannot be built through classroom instruction in civics and politics alone. There must be a correlation between what the pupil learns in the class and what he practices in life. Therefore activities those give the pupil opportunities to gain practical experience of sharing responsibilities and exercising self-control should be provided. Few such activities are the Mock Parliament, Students’ Council, and Co-Operative Store.
Activities For Aesthetic And Cultural Development
Aesthetic sensibility cannot be discussed and taught in the ordinary classroom teaching. They have to be provided by way of experiences provided through appropriate co-curricular activities. Some such activities are Music and Dancing, Drawing and Painting, Celebrating Festivals, Decorating the school, organizing exhibitions, conducting fancy dress competitions, arranging flower show etc.,
Craft Related Activities
Craft forms an important part of the curriculum of the school programme. These activities concern motor development and also pave the way for the pupils to appreciate the value of good workmanship. Some of the craft-related activities are Paper Folding, Cutting and Mounting, Clay Modelling, Toy Making, Needlework, Weaving, Sculpturing, Basket-making etc.
These are those activities that pupils engage themselves in when they are free. Naturally, they will be doing so, only in those they are interested in. Such activities take the name of ‘hobbies’. These activities provide some sort of recreation to students as they engage in activities that provide them with a reprieve from the drudgery of the classroom environment, which becomes monotonous at times for them. Hobbies can be of the following types: Stamp collection (philately), Coins collection (Numismatics), Album making, Photography, Collecting things like pictures, stones, or anything curious that interests the individual.
From last decade or so parents are showing their interest in inducing children to different sports mainly because sport at the highest level has now become a lucrative career option but despite that few parents are still reluctant to let their children participate in different co-curricular activities. In spite of the fact that only a few talented can make it to the highest level parents should encourage their children to actively participate in these activities so as to reduce their screen exposure and time, and keep them away from various forms of abuse including exposure to drugs and immoral activities.