By Glory Thomas
The importance of social activities cannot be overemphasised. Campuses would have been boring if all students did was to go to school, receive lectures and go back to their various hostels. There is strong evidence that extracurricular activities increase self-esteem and positive social behaviour among children and adolescents.
However, schools that do not know the importance will always joke with it.
One of the importance of education is giving people who live in a society the skills they need to compete in the global marketplace; and the skills they need to produce technological goods that can be sold on the open market. But how do we intend to achieve this, if extracurricular activities meant to build students are neglected?
Creative extracurricular activities such as, music, dance, drama, and visual arts can increase participants’ self-confidence, self-esteem, and positive behaviour. After-school activities appear to improve motivation, and academic achievement among school students. Elementary school students appear to have greater social engagement benefits when they are highly engaged in after school programming than when they are less engaged.
No doubt, extracurricular activities with academic components can modestly improve grades, test scores, and academic proficiency along with social benefits. Some studies indicate that participation in extracurricular activities may decrease problem behaviours such as alcohol use, risky sexual activity, and delinquency, while others suggest no effect on such behaviours.
Extracurricular activities are also a suggested strategy to increase social support systems, develop social skills and relationships, and enhance neighbourhood cohesion. There are a variety of these types of activities and programs, however, and some are more effective than others.
Studies show that students who participate in one or more extracurricular activities are less prone to negative peer pressure and have higher self-confidence. However, if your child is neglecting her/his academics in pursuit of extra curricular’s then surely, it is a matter of concern and you need to step up.
Students’ attendance at extracurricular activities may be enhanced by supportive environments, age-appropriate structures, positive relationships between participants and staff, and diverse activities that foster child development and engage participants. These characteristics can also improve student overall performance.
Always remember “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” If your child is stuck in her/his room and studies all day and gets perfect scores in exam, then it is not completely healthy.
Extracurricular activities are necessary to improve her/his interactive and social skills. Too much of anything is never good. A good child must excel in both fields without compromising.
However, students should as well learn how to create a balance between their social activities and academics. Some schools that neglected these activities, did that because the students prioritised it, forgetting the main reason they were in school. Academics and extracurricular activities are important for students, but what is more important is, the need to strike a balance between the two.
On the other hand, students must be picky about extracurricular activities; not all clubs or organisations are to be joined. It is best to pick no more than three or four activities and focus on them through obtaining leadership positions than to engage in everything and come out with nothing.
Students are meant to develop a schedule; plan out what needs to be done and when it needs to be finished. They must prioritise their activities.
- Thomas is a Mass Communication student of Ogun State Institute of Technology (OGITECH).