Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Co-curricular Activities at School

Schools have been trying to streamline co-curricular activities and I think they've succeeded on paper. But in practice, I think it has generally not benefitted students in many schools.

One after school afternoon is set aside for co-curricular activities. Schools are supposed to have uniformed bodies, societies and clubs and games. So, during co-curricular day, students are to wear that particular set of uniform or T-shirts on a rotational basis. But I think students actually like coming to school wearing something different for a change.

Once school ends at around 2.30 p.m. students head for their respective co-curricular meeting places. And that's where the problem starts. Society meetings are fine as society activities can be carried out in classrooms. But when the week for uniformed bodies or games come around, I think that's when the lack of common sense seems to prevail. How can you expect students to play games in the hot mid afternoon sun, especially for games like badminton where even the slightest bit of wind is troublesome? In schools with halls, that's fine. Then again, if you have 100 over members in your club, how is everyone going to get a chance to play. And many would have joined because badminton is such a popular game in Malaysia. And many schools do not have the luxury of big enclosed halls. Plus we know that exposure to the hot mid afternoon sun is not good too. Games are still best carried out later in the evening, from 5 p.m. onwards.

1Pelajar1Sukan.... Not everyone likes to play games. Not everyone can be good in games. We are trying to create holistic students but we fail miserably because the execution is rife with problems. Teachers are expected to do everything. And teachers can only wear so many hats before they fizzle out themselves. In many schools, co-curricular days are actually a waste of time. Students sit around not knowing what to do. Teachers are left with the task of making sure there're activities going on. In some schools students paint the school walls, clean the school compound on co-curricular days. They call it Kerja Amal. Is it a meaningful for the students?

So what do students do? They skip school on Co-Curricular Day because they don't want to stay back at school late. I don't blame them entirely. I walked into class on one co-curricular day and found more than half my students absent. It was Co-Curricular Day. What's the point of sitting around, doing nothing meaningful or fun? School activities should be fun, something to be enjoyed. Yet some schools make their students stay back till 5 p.m.... all in the name for co-curricular activities. Boring activities or none, and they're expected to stick around.... herded into groups, then sit around and wait. Maybe some servings of kopi might make it more fun.

So what gives? Basically like many things which only look good on the outside, the executors or the programme seem more interested in ensuring that it runs, not for the sake of the students but more for themselves. At this point, I think to be able to go home early and sleep would be more enjoyable for many students and teachers alike. LOL!

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