Are extracurricular activities truly important in schools?

Remember the fun you had making art in your art classes or playing certain sports, as a child? Like a majority of the people across the world, you probably have your share of happy memories related to extracurricular activities. But have you ever wondered about the fact that if these activities are actually important for school-going children? 

Extracurricular activities might sometimes seem like a ‘fun thing’ that students do in schools apart from their academics. Because of this perception, many parents, and even teachers might believe that such activities are just a waste of time. However, these activities have more benefits than just being thoroughly enjoyable for students.  

Extracurricular activities are a good opportunity for children to release their “extra energy” constructively. These activities are also a good way to aid their naturally curious minds. 

Let’s explore some more benefits of extracurricular activities in schools!

The Benefits

1. More engagement at school: Because of the never-ending academic pressure, many students end up dreading going to school. This creates a certain kind of gap in the learning process. Extracurricular activities on the other hand act as a bridge for such students. Their enthusiasm for these activities helps them keep engaged at school.  

2. Scope to explore personal interests: Some students might be naturally talented when it comes to activities like art or sports, etc. However, in their daily struggles to keep up with their academics, they run out of time and energy to pursue such interests. Extracurricular activities at schools help gifted students to explore their interests and develop their skills. 

3. Higher self-esteem: The feeling of accomplishment while participating in extracurricular activities, fuel the self esteems of the students. This helps them turn into more confident individuals. 

4. Better social skills: Not just because of the heightened self-esteem, but the social opportunities that come with extracurricular activities help students develop social skills. Collaborative extracurricular activities like theatre or sports can help even the shyest students make new friends. 

5. Better cognitive skills: Extracurricular activities require children to face challenges in a safer environment. This can help them practice and better their cognitive skills like eye-hand coordination, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

The Catch

Imagine being a student under pressure to do well academically. Now tell me, would you really want to be pushed into certain extracurricular activities that you have no actual interest in?

Extracurricular activities are only beneficial when they are according to the interest of the partaker. For example, if a child is interested in arts, pushing them into sports activities can be more harmful than beneficial.

Surely, it is important to let students try as many activities as possible to help them decide what they like the most. But, it is also important to not be too pushy about things that they have no interest in. 

Extracurricular activities can be a fun but productive break from academics. However, it is important to remember that participating in extracurricular activities is also an essential part of becoming a healthy, confident, and productive individual. 

At Great Principals, we hope to bring about a necessary change in the ways of Indian Education. Each new generation is far more capable than the last, and we owe it to evolution. But as humans evolve, we are required to transcend from our old ways and look at things from a different perspective, one that shapes the untapped minds of the children for the ever-growing world.
We are here to capture the journeys of marvelous School Leaders and Principals through an interactive talk show. We hope to inspire the parents who are the true changemakers in a child’s growing life. Our goal is to bring about a much-needed change in the way we educate our kids. Feel free to check out our episodes on YouTube www.youtube.com/c/GreatPrincipals

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