Roorkee College of Engineering, Uttarakhand (India)
In the 21st Century, the world is changing fast and at the same pace, Roorkee College of Engineering also growing with modern changes. The conventional education curriculum, which was developed in the early 20th Century, has to pave the way to a new kind of education and learning. In the book 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times, the authors Bernie Trilling and Charles Fadel have premised that “the world has changed so fundamentally in the last few decades that the roles of learning and education in day-to-day living have also changed forever”.
In the book Five Minds for The Future, the author Howard Gardner has outlined five specific mental abilities which will help one to be successful and happy. The five mental abilities or Minds as written by Howard Gardner are – The Disciplinary Mind (expertise in various subjects), The Synthesizing Mind (ability to integrate concepts from different disciplines to solve a problem), The Creating Mind (ability to think creatively to solve problems), The Respectful Mind (appreciation of the diversity in individuals), and The Ethical Mind (fulfilling one’s duties and responsibilities in the society as a citizen).
These concepts emphasize that in the 21st Century, education and learning must surpass the four walls of a classroom. The core aim of education and learning should be to foster holistic development. The importance of co-curricular activities cannot be overlooked in fostering holistic development.
Holistic development essentially means intellectual, physical, emotional, and social development which can be achieved only through proper education. Education plays a fundamental role in holistic development.
Co-curricular activities help in the holistic development of students and assist in developing critical skills and abilities to be successful and happy in 21st Century life and workplaces. Therefore, the importance of co-curricular activities is immense during school and college education.
Essential skills and values that you can develop through co-curricular activities
When theoretical curriculum and co-curricular activities are integrated together, then your chance of learning more and exploring more about your strengths, interests, and abilities becomes higher. Therein lies the importance of co-curricular activities which are supplementary to the theoretical curriculum.
It is true that much of your intellectual development happens, to a great extent, in the classroom itself. But, various other aspects of your personality such as emotional development and social skill development happen through co-curricular activities to a large extent. The key role and importance of co-curricular activities cannot be denied in holistic development.
The 12 essential skills and values that you can develop through co-curricular activities are:
- Logical and analytical thinking – analyzing reasons behind events and situations
- Critical thinking – examining concepts, ideas, problems, and issues
- Creative thinking – thinking of newer ways to solve problems; visualization; thinking of new ideas
- Problem-solving skills – solving problems utilizing various concepts, solutions, etc.
- Leadership skills – taking initiatives and responsibilities; influencing others in working for a good purpose; setting goals; motivating others to work towards goals; taking accountability
- Social skills – collaboration; teamwork; building good relationships with others
- Emotional skills – understanding your strengths and weaknesses; controlling your emotions; empathy for others
- Communication skill – the power of expression; listening to others; public speaking
- Technology skills – using various computer software and apps for getting things done
- Social values – respecting differences among individuals; respecting others values and culture
- Ethical values – maintaining ethics in public life; good moral values
- Recreational values – understanding the importance of leisure and recreation; participating in leisure and recreational activities
Benefits of co-curricular activities in Higher Education
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 young boys and girls the ability to shape up their lives. The school activities have to be designed purposefully to give an apt mix of student’s participation in academics and also to create a chance for all-round development. The importance of co-curricular activities cannot be ignored.
We get it – high school can be tough. Maybe you’re busy getting ahead, or maybe you’re busy just trying to keep up. It’s understandable if you feel you need to focus on academics. But the truth is, if you’re always working, you could be missing out on something equally as important. Co-curricular activities fuel your learning by stimulating creative thought, improving your social and organizational skills, developing your interests and talents, and offering you the chance to switch off and do something you really enjoy. So, if we’ve captured your imagination, here are our picks for the top benefits of co-curricular activities in high school.
To understand the importance of co-curricular activities, let us see how these activities benefit students:
Enhances overall personality
Co-curricular activities in school help to enhance the overall personality of the students. These prepare them to take challenges heads up and enable them to think critically. Experiences and skills acquired through these co-curricular activities make students proactive and prepared for their future endeavors. Therefore, the importance of co-curricular activities cannot be denied in overall personality development.
Strengthen 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, and team spirit. Thus, many institutions are appreciating the importance of co-curricular activities and integrating a number of co-curricular activities in their syllabus, and making it mandatory for the students to choose their interest in co-curricular activities from a list of options. The hidden motive behind all this is to develop self-confidence and trust in others.
Develop Specialized Skills
Co-curricular activities in school help hone the talents of young minds and give them an opportunity to develop their specialized skills. Competitions that are organized can create a competitive environment and help them work towards continuous improvement in their skills.
Therefore, a number of schools are now understanding the importance of co-curricular activities right from the early stages of school so that students can benefit in the future as well.
It’s easy to forget when you’ve got your nose buried deep in a book, but interacting with your peers is essential to ensuring your high school experience is as rich as it can be. Even if you’re not someone who finds social situations easy, joining a school club is the perfect way to meet like-minded individuals. Having fun with friends will make your high school experience more enjoyable, and those social skills will come in handy when you start university or your first job. Never underestimate the importance of connecting to others – there’s power in building networks. The friends you make tomorrow could be the ones who support you your whole life.
Improved academic performance
You might worry that participating in co-curricular activities will detract from your schoolwork, but that isn’t the case. Active participation in an activity you’re passionate about will improve your brain functioning. You’ll develop your concentration and time management skills. For example, sports activities will train you to focus, build stamina, and teach you to keep trying in the face of failure or difficulty. Students who get involved in other areas of student life are also likely to have a more positive outlook on school and future study. In short, co-curricular activities could give you an advantage when it comes to improving your academic performance.
Stress relief and relaxation
Working on homework, studying for exams, thinking about your future – these things can all seem overwhelming. Co-curricular activities provide you with the opportunity to concentrate your efforts somewhere else. For an hour or two, you can escape whatever it might be that’s stressing you out and relax into something productive. Theatre or public speaking will build your self-confidence. Sports will keep you healthy and happy. Discussion or interest groups will increase your sense of community at school. Gardening, science, technology clubs will all allow you to build transferable skills while having a good time with friends. Whatever you decide to do, it’s important to do something that isn’t studying once in a while.
Broaden your horizons
High school is the ideal time to challenge yourself by trying new things and considering new perspectives. Through participating in co-curricular activities, you could find a new interest, talent, or even career goal. Not everyone finds their inspiration in the classroom. You might also find that new experiences inform and shape your opinions towards your academic subjects. Developing as a person is all about putting yourself out of your comfort zone – students who have studied abroad know just how impactful the experience was in helping them to mature, be independent, and consider new perspectives. The same goes for co-curricular activities, challenge yourself, try as many as you can and find the ones that make you a better person.
Co-curricular activities are an essential part of any good university application. They can show longevity: that a student knows how to commit to something and stick with it. Also, passion: if you’ve put your heart and soul into interest, it suggests you’re capable of doing the same with your studies. Finally, leadership: Taking the initiative, driving a team effort, being bold in deciding how you want to spend your free time, even organizing your own club after school or leading one – these are all the sorts of attributes that university admissions officers will be on the lookout for.
In this competitive era, records of participation in co-curricular activities can 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 activities. Therefore, the importance of co-curricular activities is immense in their future pursuits.
Exposure to New Activities
Students are introduced to a whole new horizon of activities that give them better insights and let 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, speaking, and many other skills in students. Thus, co-curricular activities broaden the scope of students in learning and exploring new activities. Thus, the importance of co-curricular activities is a lot in this aspect.
Builds Sense of Responsibilities
When students in their early life are given some responsibility or a task to handle like an application of first aid or managing the class painting board, etc. their efficiency to handle such situations becomes much better. This fosters a sense of responsibility and accountability.
Enhance Physical and Mental Health
Co-curricular activities require students to stay active at school by participating. As students have no option to skip these activities such as athletics, gymnastics, yoga, indoor games, and meditation, etc. because they are part of their curriculum. This makes the importance of co-curricular activities very high. Co-curricular activities are helpful for students as they enhance the physical fitness as well as mental health of a student and also help in relieving students from academic stress.
Therefore, as students should be given more and more opportunities to explore their interests and abilities, the importance of co-curricular activities cannot be denied. In order to instill the ‘all-rounder’ factor in students, co-curricular activities in Roorkee College of Engineering are being integrated with the academic curriculum. Which makes the college the best place for learning.
The rewards of co-curricular activities in schools and colleges have been researched pretty well and it is now ascertained that students who participate in these activities show better academic results, stronger relationships in schools, and are more likely to lead a healthy and active lifestyle.