The Essence of Co-curricular Activities Sample Essay
Any non-academic activities that students engage in leading to enhancement of social skills, optimal recreation, lifestyle modification, and growth in intrapersonal skills such as confidence and discipline are called co-curricular activities. The co-curricular programs happen outside the period set for curricular activities (Chalageri and Yarriswami, 22). Through the co-curricular program, activities complement the curricular program, creating a comprehensive learning experience in school or college. The co-curricular activities are funded by the learning institution and rely on supervision from the organization’s staff. All curriculum activities are mandatory, but co-curricular activities are a voluntary vocation and therefore have no credits awarded for the character-building achievements accomplished. This essay will explore the essence of co-curricular activities as part of the education system and students’ learning experiences.
Extracurricular activities have been part of informal and formal education since antiquity. Activities such as archery, singing, wrestling, and other pastimes were commonplace in the various pre-modern cultures across the world. The ordering of the co-curricular activities to complement the curricular activities and not just serve as a necessary distraction and the use of faculty funding are modern concepts. In the 19th century, the first co-curricular activities emerged among students in literary societies rooted in Harvard and Yale called fraternities and sororities. The American colleges were also organizing co-curricular activities based on campuses to conduct successful athletic events. Intercollegiate athletics has been a predominant choice of co-curricular activities since the decline of literary societies in the 20th century (Dhanmeher).
Over the years, educational thinkers such as Astin have posited that co-curricular activities are a core element in the education system. There are three distinct qualities of co-curricular activities. They include active learning, self-regulation during learning, and holistic coverage of intended outcomes. Co-curricular activities become a potent channel to explore the meaning of curricular content and integrate knowledge for real-world experiences (Leung). Departure from didactic education programs is a chance for some students to enjoy a different learning context. Having co-curricular activities organized by the students, the educational context becomes one of self-regulation in learning. There is motivation and a sense of accomplishment during the planning and carrying out of the co-curricular activities. The overall impact is that the student has a holistic perception of the education content and context and can transcend the provisions of the education system and become innovators to improve other areas in the school and society (Chalageri and Yarriswami).
During co-curricular activities, students develop their talents and enhance their skills of self-development through lived experiences. The students are mostly the planners and implementers of co-curricular activities whereby they get to nurture soft skills such as leadership and managerial competence. The essence of co-curricular activities is to give the students real-world experiences where they surmount genuine challenges during the co-curricular projects (Khan and Abbas).
Social clubs, sports teams, cultural movements, and art groups are the planners of co-curricular activities. Other activities build character and are promoted and funded by the various faculties. Interim news reporting, for instance, can also be considered a form of co-curricular activity. Educational institutions often promote structures of social order such as the democratic process and good citizenship in the community. Consequently, there are co-curricular activities that enhance good cultural bearing and personality, for instance, debate clubs. The education system catalyzes other forces influencing society by creating a sense of community within the school through co-curricular activities that allow reenacting roles in the general society (Iqbal and Khan).
The need for co-curricular activities is rooted in the reasoning that students need to demonstrate and practice the attitude and skills necessary to complement the curricular course material (El-Haggar, Mezhoudi, and Alrwjih). Critical thinking and the ability to derive workable solutions, and do so in an ethical manner raise concerns for staff, parents, and employers. Co-curricular activities also offer the learners the chance to be adaptable and responsible for their interpersonal capacity and intrapersonal contribution to team or group efforts (Akinrinmade and Ayeni). Co-curricular activities often entail goal setting and, they bring about excitement within the education context as the students achieve them through commitment and resilience. Skills such as conflict resolution and good communication and negotiation are taught better during real-world moments. Since co-curricular activities and action-based, the students get to demonstrate integrity and receive appreciation for their efforts. These are the skills that the market force is searching for, and students are urged to get better at each skill before graduating (Milner, Cousins, and McGowan).
Non-curricular activities are an essential part of the student experience and the education system. Participation in co-curricular activities is an opportunity for significant improvement in the overall outcomes of going through the education system. There is the development of incumbent skills and talents and nurturing of new ones with participation in co-curricular activities. Consequently, the complementary role of co-curricular activities has become a ubiquitous tool to impart soft skills and promote the right attitudes to support curricular expectations. As a holistic approach to education, incorporating co-curricular activities in mainstream academic pursuits has support from employers. Students and educationists should be encouraged to promote increased participation and better organization of co-curricular activities.
Akinrinmade, B I. and Ayeni, A.O. "Influence Of Extracurricular Involvement On Graduate Employability." Malaysian Online Journal of Educational Management (MOJEM) (2017): 19-31.
Chalageri, R G. and Yarriswami, M.C. "Implementation Of Co-Curricular Activities In Secondary Schools: A Role Of Teachers." International Journal of Advanced Research in Education and Technology (IJARET) (2018): 22-24.
El-Haggar, N., Mezhoudi, N., and Alrawjih, F.A. "The Impact Of Co-Curricular Activities Supported By Generic Skills On Students' Performance at University Level." International Journal of Innovative Technology and Exploring Engineering (IJITEE) (2019): 981-986.
Iqbal, M. and Khan, W. "Role of Co-Curricular Activities In School Effectiveness." Middle-East Journal of Scientific Research (2014): 2168-2176.
Khan, W. "Role of Co-Curricular Activities In Students Development." The Spark (2018 Abbas, S.G).