Extracurricular activities are instrumental in shaping the creative instincts of students and all the educational institution should incorporate these activities in their syllabi.
By Khazran Khan
Extracurricular activities play a vital role in the intellectual growth of students. But when it comes to engineering undergraduates, these activities find no place in their busy schedules. Focusing 24×7 on their studies, pressurising their brain to be swot, burning the midnight oil for better CGPA and achieving academic excellence has secretly dashed many golden opportunities in their career-oriented life.
A question to ponder is: why are our educational institutions lacking the notions of extracurricular activities? Is it because they are in a hurry to complete the syllabus or are they interested only in the grades?
Extracurricular activities fuel our learning by stimulating innovative thoughts, improving our social skills, helping us to enhance our leadership and teamwork qualities and developing better social relations with each other. Nevertheless, the present-day generation is showing the least interest in other activities as equally shown by those in authority.
There are many extracurricular activities for aspiring engineers and what matters is not the number of activities but the participation of students in them. Honestly, from the day students opt for science stream to the day when they step in colleges, rarely anyone among them has shown interest in extracurricular activities. And the very few who have shown interest are still waiting for the opportunity from the other side.
The old saying goes: “ All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.”Sardonically, our educational system is so occupied with exams and syllabus pressure that it hardly has the time to revise these very important things on one hand. And on the other hand, students are so mugged up with academics that most often they forget that during interviews it is not just their grades but their communication skills, attitude, maturity level and other qualities which prove beneficial in their placement and jobs.
Extracurricular activities fuel our learning by stimulating innovative thoughts, improving our social skills and helping us to enhance our leadership and teamwork qualities.
The question that arises here is what fruit will it yield if you nourish a plant properly but don’t provide it with an environment necessary for its survival? We all are like those plants nourished by the good hands of our teachers. Yet, when it comes to our existence on our own, we lack the basic skills which might have got inculcated in us during co-curricular activities.
There are many extra-curricular activities that the management of educational institutions should focus on, keeping in consideration the necessity of interacting more with the outside world and facing the real challenges in the long run. Volunteering in NGO’s, internships, debates and discussions, managing events and seminars, setting clubs for reading, writing, music and painting competitions and quizzes, learning a new language and participating in tournaments can prove very fruitful in future for engineering students. It will not only upgrade their morale but will teach them the skills of sportsmanship, hard work, friendship, teamwork, leadership and boost their knowledge in one way or the other.
The irony lies within the educational system in Kashmir where the primary concern just revolves around academics and grades. Many students, despite being extraordinary in studies, don’t get selected in reputed companies because they lack the fundamental skills of co-curricular activities. The present-day youths show a keen interest in social media and, needless to say, it’s just a wastage of time and nothing else. Getting involved in co-curricular activities would not only help them in becoming better versions of themselves but will definitely help in dragging them out from the world of social media and gadgets.
Surely, the ongoing pandemic has put a pause on these kinds of activities but there are certainly many alternatives to keep these things on the track like conducting online debates, quizzes and other adventurous activities. They will surely make them fall in love with learning. In this way, engineering students will relax their minds and experience many things which ultimately will result in better education.
In the words of Aristotle: “The quality of life is determined by its activities.” Co-curricular activities are instrumental in drawing out the best potentialities of students. All educational institutions, particularly those dealing with aspiring engineers, should try to implement certain co-curricular activities in their schedules. While drafting the syllabus for students, there is an urgency to give a thought to extracurricular activities. That’s what Albert Einstein said: “ Education is not the learning of facts. It’s rather the training of the mind to think.”
The more we think, the more we will succeed in filling our bookish minds with creative thoughts. The author is an engineering student and she can be reached at [email protected].