By Damayanti Bhattacharya- Principal of JML School.
As the country opens up in a calibrated manner after months of lockdown, we’re devising ways in which we can bring back normalcy in our lives. Schools are also striving to protect the health and wellbeing of future generation. The most effective way to do this is by involving students in extracurricular activities. Research shows these activities help in making kids more resilient and contribute to a decrease in mental health issues. But these activities will now be done differently because COVID-19 will continue to be with us for a while and that calls for a revolutionized way of functioning in every aspect of life.
For high school students who wish to be involved in extracurricular activities, not all hope is lost. While the coronavirus has forced athletics and some other activities to be canceled or postponed, others can be done online. Debates, quizzes, elocutions, music & art lessons on digital platforms are easily doable. Theatre and drama has turned into recorded audio plays, short films and table readings over video calls.
Indulging in extracurricular activities is instrumental in breaking academic monotony. It helps students channel their thoughts, direct them to a clearer path and make for an enriching student experience. The benefits of extracurricular activities are exponential. First of all, students get the chance to build their skills and interests in an environment without the pressures of a formal classroom setting. Another advantage is that students get to know people outside of their friend groups and classes. It’s a great opportunity to find and build new friendships.
In addition, extracurricular activities can challenge children to push their own boundaries and excel at an activity or skill. Whether it is technologically, academically, or physically centered, extracurricular activities can hone a child’s interests and lead them to success beyond the set curriculum.
Certain activities like sports teach children discipline, grit, teamwork, leadership and endurance. Similar skills are developed if students learn about technology or play a musical instrument. For instance, a robotics and design online club would teach them about real issues on how technology can disrupt and change the world. They learn about adaptability and see problem-solving in action. If it is a musical instrument they want to play, they begin to explore their creative self and understand the ability to express their emotions differently.
Extra-curricular activities build personality and teach students to organize, network and better understand their strengths and weaknesses. They allow students to relax, rejuvenate, and mingle. Although the list might be long and time may be short, extracurricular activities are worth the effort. The skills they build to enhance a child’s expertise, ingenuity and versatility to prepare them for their future, near and far, are priceless and can ignite a passion that sets them apart in the long run.