The Place of Sports and Extra-curricular Activities in Education

During a visiting day session at a boarding school, a student complained to his father, “We do sports and extra-curricular activities only once in a blue moon here. This school is very boring. All we do is read and read.”

 

It is easy to waive aside the complaint of the boy. It is very easy to miss the import of the situation that he described. Why? Parents send their children to school to study anyway. What is the harm in not having sporting and other extra-curricular activities on a regular basis? As a matter of fact, a lot of damage is being done.

 

For starters, “all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy” is a popular saying that applies here. Work and play are so intertwined that institutions that understand the connection make deliberate effort to integrate both in good proportions.

 

Also, it must be noted that majority of students go on in life to earn a living from personal skills and interests, not from their courses of formal study in school. In other words, the very things that are often classified under extra-curricular activities. People grow up to become dancers, footballers, basketballers, gardeners, and the like.

 

Education needs to change.

 

Would it not be much more productive to integrate the so-called extra-curricular activities into proper education syllabus, considering the vital part such activities often eventually play in the lives of students years later in the real world?

 

Yet, across so many schools around the country, things like computer science, music and the like are provided as add-ons and extras, when in reality they are as much core to everyday living as the main subjects of education.

 

Yes; education needs to change. However that happens, it is a bad idea to keep pupils and students away from regular, healthy doses of sports, games and other extra-curricular activities.