Curriculum can be identified through both curricular and co-curricular activities in an educational system. There are differences between both activities but there is no contradiction in these programmes.
Activities that are carried out inside the classroom, in the laboratory or in the workshop and have reference to the prescribed courses are called ‘curricular activities’. These activities are a part of the over-all instructional programme. There is full involvement of the teaching staff in these activities.
On the other hand, co-curricular activities are those activities, which have indirect reference to actual instructional work that goes on in the classroom. In fact, today, there is only a sharp difference between curricular and co-curricular activities as the latter activities also supplement classroom teaching.
The following are the important curricular activities in school.
(a) Classroom activities:
These activities are those, which relate to instruction work in different subjects such as instructional games, classroom experiments, scientific observations, guidance programme, examination and evaluation work, audio-visual education, making different charts and models, etc.
(b) Activities in the library:
These activities are reading books and journals, taking additional notes from library books pertaining to current lessons, making scrap books, making files of newspaper cuttings, etc.
(c) Activities in the workshop and on the farm:
These activities have reference to various types of ‘work-experience’ or socially useful productive work.
(d) Activities in the laboratory:
Those activities, which are carried out in science laboratories, history room, geography room, language laboratory, etc., are under curricular activities.
There is also necessity for the other activities outside the classroom to develop all aspects of the life. These activities are known as co-curricular activities.
Different Co-curricular Activities for a Primary School:
(i) Physical activities:
Different activities like games, mass drill, cycling, gardening, etc. can be organized at primary level. These activities can help for physical development.
(ii) Literary activities:
Different activities like telling stories, singing community songs, performing one act play, etc. should be organized at elementary or primary level.
(iii) School assembly:
The students should get the chance to meet once a day together in prayer class where school programmes are announced by the teacher.
(iv) Social service:
Different service activities like school cleaning, watering plants, cleaning roads and helping the poor people at their need will help the students to develop service mentality.
(v) Festivals and observances:
The school observes different festivals like Saraswati Puja, Ganesh Puja, Independence Day, Republic Day, Children’s Day, Teacher’s Day, etc. These activities develop the leadership qualities.
The children learn teamwork, social work and sacrificing individual interest for society through co-curricular activities.