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If you don't update yourself today then you don't have a place in this world tomorrow.

I have had the most wonderful time,the most incredible experience one can imagine in the course of my association with the students at the institutes I have worked in. Each day has been a special day for me. More or less the work in both the institutions has been the same - "Mentoring". Through these experiences I have learnt the importance of extra and co-curricular activities in a student’s life. Education today is no longer limited to classroom teachings. Gone are those days when our parents used to think in the same way as the common saying "Jack of all trades and master of none" but now it's a paradoxical view. The new trend of this age is to know everything to be updated. If you are as good as yesterday then you are outdated today. If you don't update yourself today then you don't have a place in this world tomorrow. The world is changing at a faster pace and to survive you will have to learn, unlearn and relearn to be prepared to face the challenges of the world.

"The highest function of education is to bring about an integrated individual who is capable of dealing with life as a whole” -J. Krishnamurti

The society gives importance to those students who believe and practice learning beyond academics to have an extra edge over others. And so students have to focus on extracurricular activities besides studies to gain that extra edge.

Activities which fall outside the curriculum and after class hours are extra-curricular activities. Some schools and colleges have these as electives. Now-a-days these activities are more profound than ever before. Co-curricular activities have formed a core value in any student’s life. Organizing trainings, workshops, cultural and sports activities are some of the many tasks students get involved in school which we call co-curricular activities. These make the students involved in actual learning of real life situations. In other words, co-curricular activities prepare students practically for the future. These activities provide them the opportunities to work as a team, to understand and wear leadership skills, and to take care of inter personal conflict; motivate others, organizing skills etc.

The foremost objective of any school or college is to create enthusiasm among students and keep them excited about learning be it from books or otherwise and give them the opportunity to build a stage where they can showcase their hidden talents and hone their existing skills. When their minds are not bugged with only rote learning, they will be well-suited for holistic growth in not only academics and extracurricular but as a good human being. All these activities measures towards all-round development of the children in terms of spiritual, cultural, social and technical health.

These activities also support the academic mission of schools and the universities to create experiential learning options outside of the classroom and encourage students to actively participate in the greater educational community. Parents, now a days are seeking alternatives to mainstream education. More and more parents realize that just learning academics is not enough, and they see their kids are suffering in their corporate world from a lack of such learning.

School and college certificates are like the passport to get into higher studies and job positions. However, extra-curriculars create a lifelong experience. The tremendous talent and potential embedded in today’s youth are explored to the fullest extent and are put to use for the betterment of the entire society through such involved activities.
The motto of extracurricular activities is “Education through Entertainment” and hence more and more institutions of learning must add them in their curriculum.

Dr. Sucheta Priyabidini
Stewart School, Bhubaneshwar
Author Bio
Dr. Sucheta Priyabadini is an eminent social scientist and a known face in Orissa in the field of literature, culture and social activism.  She has 20 years of experience in the academic field and has been a teacher of History and Geography for 8 years in Stewart School, Bhubaneswar. Presently she is the Director of Student Services at KIIT University, Odisha for the past 12 years. She has also written columns in some leading newspapers. She was conferred the prestigious ‘Prananath Samman-2013’ award for her contribution in the field of Social Sciences & Fine arts.

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