Education is not merely concerned with a merely of the 3 R’s. It is concerned with the integrated development of the personality of an individual; his physical, cultural, aesthetic, social, mental and emotional aspects. The Secondary Education Commission observed, “We would like the school to see if it can provide a richly varied pattern of activities to cater to the development of children’s entire personality.”
It is extremely difficult to emphasize sufficiently the tremendous importance of the co- curricular activities for the development of the whole man. Changes in the philosophical and psychological ideas have now given a new direction to the school curriculum.
Philosophical ideas have brought about a change in die aims of education. The crying need of the hour is the education for democracy, and hence education must aim at producing those individuals who can intelligently and amicably participate in the various activities of life. Traditional curriculum has failed to meet the demands of the changing concept of education. The co-curricular programme is a convenient tool by which an inadequate curriculum may be modified.
Secondly, a consideration of psychological factors reminds us of the necessity of giving more and more attention to understand die individual differences of the children and of providing proper outlets for the flow of the energies of the children. These activities are very helpful in this regard.
‘Learning by Doing’, ‘learning by Living’ and ‘Learning without Tears’ are the main characteristics of new education. Education accordingly is seen in terms of7 R’s i.e., Reading, Writing, Arithmetic, Rights, Responsibilities, Recreation and Relationships.
But the ‘Art of living’ is much more comprehensive concept than the acquisition of knowledge, however intelligently planned. It includes training in the habit and graces of social life and the capacity for cooperative group work. It calls for patience, good temper, sincerity, fellow and discipline. These objectives can only be in the context of the social life and the many curricular activities must find a recognised place in school.
The Origin of Co-curricular Activities:
These activities are as old as education itself though sphere was not so vast as it is today. Monitor stem was one of the important institutions of the ancient Indian system of education. The Gurukulas of were residential institutions providing opportunities social contacts on a large scale. In Athens and Sparta activities like athletics, music, and student participation internment were very common.
Co-curricular Activities as an Integral Part of Education:
In the past, these activities were mainly organised after school hours and so were ‘extra curricular But now “they are as integral a part of the activities of the school as its curricular work and their organisation needs just as much care and for mght.” The Secondary Education Commission marks, “Given a clean, pleasant and well-maintained building, we would like the school to see if it provides a richly varied, pattern of activities to cater fee development of their children’s entire personality has to formulate a scheme of hobbies, occupations id projects that will appeal to, and draw out the powers ‘children of varying temperaments and aptitudes’.