In todays highly competitive world, students have to bear a lot of mental stress and also have to get involved in so many things in order to acquire knowledge. This is where co-curricular activities play a very significant role. They help us get mental rest and also help us stay physically fit and healthy. Being only brilliant in academics doesn’t help a student become a responsible citizen of that country. A student should also be equally talented in other fields and even if not, they should at least pay some interest in them. It’s because being both academically and co-curricularly talented helps a student to face the world. This also helps in developing his/her personality. There is no doubt that academics are the priority in a student’s life but it would be very wrong to say that co-curricular activities are a kind of hindrance to academic excellence. But students can only value these activities when they get a supportive environment from their parents. Thus, present study focused its attention on the attitude and perceptions which parents of secondary school child have about Co-curricular activities and factors which affect their attitude. In other words, study made an attempt to find out those key factors on which parents build their attitude and perception for co-curricular activities at secondary level because it’s the peak of the student’s adolescent age and after this they decide for their future plans.
Key Terms: attitude, perception, co-curricular activities
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. Secondary Education Commission (1954)”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 of 7 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 recognized place in school.
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Meaning of co-curricular activities:
Activities which complement but are not part of the conventional academic curriculum are known as co-curricular activities. It means that Co-curricular activities are those activities which fall outside the regular academic curriculum yet they are a part of schooling or collegiate life. These are observed in tandem with an institute’s curriculum and have a yearly schedule. Most of the educational organizations in various different parts of the world facilitate these activities for school and college students. Faculty is mostly involved in organizing and directing these activities in schools while it may be independent from faculty in universities or colleges. Today these activities have become more profound than ever before. Co-curricular activities form the core of students’ life.
The Origin of Co-curricular Activities:
These activities are as old as education itself though sphere was not as 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. Lots of educationists in the past have also reflected that these activities are inseparable part of any school curriculum and hence very important for students.
Rousseau’s revolutionary statements such as ” to live is the trade I want to teach him (Emil) the object is not to give him knowledge but the taste and capacity of acquiring it, and the method is that of personal discovery ‘and ”now the youth is to be educated fir the life and is to be in social relationship. ‘Spencer (1820-1903) came out vigorously in his advocacy of co-curricular activities with his clarion call’ to prepare us for complete living is the function which education has to discharge. ‘and for making this goal in actuality he advocates activities concerned with family life and rearing of the children social and political activities, leisure time activities like music arts; crafts etc.
The great educational philosopher Dewey provided the great impetus to co-curricular activities in education, who advocated the philosophy of pragmatism. ‘Education is not preparation, of life put life itself ‘with the assertion Dewey shook all those who had been emphasizing bookish education for making one’s future life and career meaningful and productive. His suggestion for adopting ‘project method’ in education, are directly through co-curricular activities at par with the intellectual subjects in the School Curriculum.
Thus we see that the global trend of ‘too much bookish education’ that rose and held sway from 13th to 19th centuries is most of the school and colleagues was greatly checked and corrected by these progressive educational thinkers in the later half of the previous century and in the first of this 20th century.
Co-curricular Activities as an Integral Part of Education:
In the past, these activities were mainly organized 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 organization needs just as much care and for might.” 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’.
National Policy of Education (1986) has mentioned about “sports and physical education and also rendering of social service by students while learning, are an inseparable part of the learning process”. Further they suggested that “at upper primary stage, while participation in activities relating to physical education and sports should be the main theme, some elements of textual materials could be introduced also. A minimum of one period a day should be devoted for physical education and sports at this stage.”
Similarly Programme of Action (1992) has emphasized that these activities (CCA) should benefit students and youth in a number of ways, including character building, co-operative endeavor and endurance. These activities will also greatly help students develop a sense of self-confidence and self-esteem, and will help then in their future careers. For this physical education and yoga should be introduce for at least 45 minutes per day, preferably just after assembly. And games should be included in the school time-table for at least two periods in a week.
In National Curriculum Framework (2005) art as a subject at all stages is recommended which includes music, dance, visual arts and theatre. It also emphasized on work which is linked with learning from pre primary knowledge into experience, as well as physical activity so that the child’s success depends on well planned physical activities.
Thus, having understood that co-curricular activities are important part of student’s life, investigator made a very serious attempt to find out the attitude and perception of parents as they are the most influential factor in selecting curriculum and activities for students at secondary level.
STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM:
A STUDY OF THE ATTITUDE AND PERCEPTION OF PARENTS TOWARDS CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES IN SCHOOL
OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF KEY TERMS:
Attitude: A predisposition or a tendency to respond positively or negatively towards a certain idea, object, person, or situation. Attitude influences an individual’s choice of action, and responses to challenges, incentives, and rewards (together called stimuli). Four major components of attitude are (1) Affective: emotions or feelings. (2) Cognitive: belief or opinions held consciously. (3) Conative: inclination for action. (4) Evaluative: positive or negative response to stimuli. In short, the way a person views something or tends to behave towards it, often in an evaluative way.
Perception: The process, act, or faculty of perceiving. Perception means how do children perceive co-curricular activities in the present study? Is it negative or positive?
Co-curricular activities: These activities may be defined as the activities undertaken to strengthen the classroom learning as well as other activities both inside and outside the classroom to develop the personality of the child.
OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY:
To study the attitude of parents towards co-curricular activities.
To study the perception of parents towards co-curricular activities.
To study the factors influencing the attitude of students and parents towards co-curricular activities.
To study the problem ‘Descriptive survey method’ has been used.
The population for the present study comprised parents of the students of class IX and X of Sarvodaya Schools, Directorate of Education, Delhi Govt.
Sample for the present study comprised 100 parents of the students of class IX and X randomly selected from Sarvodaya Schools of District- South-West of Delhi, Directorate of Education, and Delhi Govt.
TOOLS/TECHNIQUES USED FOR DATA COLLECTION:
In the present study the investigator has used Questionnaire and Interview Schedule as tools to collect the data.
Questionnaire for the selected parents.
Interview Schedule for the selected parents.
FINDINGS OF THE STUDY:
Present research was started with some preplanned objectives and now, it is the time to look back at the objectives of the study again.
First objective was to study the attitude of parents towards co-curricular activities. It was found by the researcher that half of the parents (47%) are not willing to let their child to participate in the co-curricular activities (CCA) as they responded that this is an important phase of student’s life when they have to look forward to their future instead of wasting their time on these activities. On the other hand, there are parents (45%) who support their child to participate in CCA as they believe that these activities provide the children with great opportunities to develop their self confidence and keep their children physically fit and healthy. These parents provide proper guidance and encouragement to their children and arrange all the material required for it. These parents are in favor of equal balance between academics and co-curricular activities.
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No. of parents who want their children to participate in CCA
It can be very easily concluded from the Fig. 1 that almost half of the parents have positive attitude towards the participation in co-curricular activities. These parents encourage their children on every step to provide moral support and they take keen interest in their performance as well. They are present to see the growth and beauty of the talent and confidence of their child. On the other hand, 47% of the parents are strongly against the participation of their children in the co-curricular activities as they believe that children of secondary level are of adolescent age and it is the crucial period in which they have to plan for the future career and decide their future goals for better life so the children shouldn’t waste their time on these activities, instead they must utilize the time for their study. Parents consider that the academic curriculum is much more important and should be given more status in schools than the co-curriculum. According to them, educational institutes are only meant to deliver education and awarding recognized qualifications. They also view higher education of a greater importance than the co-curricular when being selected by employers. There is also a view based on logic that there is more need for super talented individuals and as such institutes should make specialized individuals in their selected fields. Most modern careers require expert knowledge and skills, which can take years to acquire. Co-curricular activities distract students from developing skills in whatever selected field they have chosen to specialize in. 8% of the parents occasionally encourage their children to participate to get their mood fresh and for having fun and enjoyment.
Thus, the positive and negative attitude of parents towards co-curricular activities is based on their own assumptions and this automatically gets inculcated in their children too.
Second objective was to study the perception of parents towards co-curricular activities. Through this objective an attempt was made to understand and study the perception of parents i.e. how do they perceive co-curricular activities? Are co-curricular activities important for the child all round development? It was found by the researcher that majority of the parents know about co-curricular activities and 52% of the parents (Fig. 2) agreed that participation in co-curricular activities did build up the confidence level of child. The responses indicated that participation acts as catalyst and the talent triggers up. The students get exposure and appreciation. It encourages and motivates him/her for further participation. Participation gives the feeling of satisfaction and achievement, the self concept becomes high.
No. of parents who agreed that CCA builds self confidence of the child
Fig. 2 also reveals that there are 33% parents who believe that co-curricular activities are not at all important as they distract the students from academics. They believe that the academic curriculum is really much more important and must continue to be given more status in schools than the co-curriculum. Students are meant to be receiving an education and gaining recognized qualifications. Co-curricular activities are nice, but they have never been shown to actually play a vital role in a student’s life. And if they distract students from focusing on their academic qualifications, then they could be actually harmful. So, these parents have total negative perception about CCA. 15% of the parents accepted that CCA has very little impact on student’s personality and their locus of control is more towards academics but they wanted their child to participate in CCA to be active, alert and for refreshing their mood.
It was also found out by the investigator that majority of the parents are aware of the need and benefits of co-curricular activities but half the parents are not ready to give CCA an important and required place in the lives of their child as they are not able to understand that the child can have a future career in any of the activities.
No. of parents who agree that CCA helps in the all round development of the child
Fig. 3 shows that 80% of the parents agreed that CCA helps in the all round development of the child which means physical, mental, social, emotional, psychological, spiritual and moral development. These parents also confirmed that co-curricular activities identified the hidden talent of their child. The responses revealed that majority of the parents found that CCA is important in today’s life as: Child becomes competent enough and self dependent; learns to fight against his inhibition; child becomes interactive; healthy and fresh mind to pursue future aim and CCA in school is right stage, right platform, and right opportunity to enrich skills. Only responses of 16% parents reflected that CCA doesn’t play any role in the all round development of the child.
No. of parents who want CCA to be a part of Curriculum:
Fig. 4 represents that majority of the parents are in favor of CCA as they want that it should be an integral part of regular curriculum where as 17% of the parents are not in favor of including CCA in the curriculum because academics forms an important part in their viewpoint. 25% of the parents want that CCA should be a part of the academics occasionally for providing a change to the students.
Third objective was to study the factors influencing the attitude of parents towards co-curricular activities. It was found out by the scholar that social pressures, emerging trends, interest of the child are some of the key determining factors for the attitude and the perception of parents. These factors form the positive attitude and perception about co-curricular activities and this positive perception are directly reflected in the perception of their child.
It is a well known fact that wide range of experiences prepare students better for the future, especially in today’s uncertain world. Broad education can provide better preparation for life in a society where an individual may need to change career several times in their life. Student minds aren’t mature enough to ascertain what’s good and what’s bad for them? Their decisions may be influenced by peer pressure etc. but at the same time these activities should not be forced. Co-curricular activities need to be more refined, varied and interesting so as to be widely accepted and successful. A successful co-curriculum builds links between the school and the wider community, bringing local enthusiasts in to work with students, and sending students out to work on community projects. Many children have talents in all sorts of different areas, and it is wrong to force them to specialize too early. A career is not the only part of an adults life school needs to make sure they have interests and skills that will help them in their family and leisure lives too. Through equal balancing of academic and co-curriculum, the students have the chance to exercise their rights and the opportunity to be multi-talented.
Thus, it can be concluded from the findings of the study that parents understand the value and need of the co-curricular activities but half of the parents do not encourage their child to participate in these activities as they regard it as wastage of time and academics becomes much more important in their live. These parents think that children can only be successful when they will spend more time on academics. There is also a view based on logic that there is more need for super talented individuals and as such institutes should make specialized individuals in their selected fields. Most modern careers require expert knowledge and skills, which can take years to acquire. Co-curricular activities distract students from developing skills in whatever selected field they have chosen to specialize in.
On the other hand, there are parents who agreed that children should actively participate in these activities as it helps in identifying the hidden talent in the child and develop self confidence. These activities provide a rich experience to the children which help them to sustain in this uncertain world and make them multi-skilled. Participation in these activities develops many skills such as leadership skills, taking initiatives, team-spirit etc. Thus, it can be concluded that these activities are really important as they have a potential of developing the intellect of a student which is always not possible with theoretic procedures. For this co-curricular activities need to be effective so that they can give the right exposure to the mind. When effective these activities provide a practical hands-on approach to the students which provide similar experiences which they will face in the outside world. Such experiences go a long way in producing multi-faceted personalities which, in due course of time may bring honour to the country as well.
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