Today’s streamlined education system focusing only on the idea of theoretical knowledge has created only job-seekers. This has caused problems in the economy and continues to create problems. With a primary focus on grade, students haven’t been able to look outside the spectrum of textbook knowledge.
“A strong foundation to the education system is mandatory for any country to prosper in this globalized world. Different countries have their own way of educating people. In the context of Nepal, there are many problems in the education system like lack of skill-oriented education, fixed course with old syllabus, exam oriented preparations, lack of recognition and no respect for any other professions or non-credit courses.” said Sarita Swaraj, a teacher at Southwestern State College when asked problems in the education system of Nepal.
In this comprehensive world, academics solely is not enough because today’s market demands real life traits in any individual that is cultivated by engaging oneself in holistic activities, be it either sports or any other forms of arts. What our education system is making mistake is that, in the race of creating many toppers , we are terminating the the core competency of the students. We are suppressing the hidden singers and artists in the name of ‘Conventional Education’. So, in order to make Nepalese education more interdisciplinary, Extra-curricular activities (ECA) plays a vital role to add distinctive values in the students.
“ECA makes one prepared for life while education only makes one prepared for the job. ECA has shaped me to be able to face world problems in real-time and stand in it, not just survive it.”, said Sachin Dangi, Glocal Teen Hero 2017 and this is the exact idea necessary for improving the output from the education system in Nepal by changing the jobseekers to job creators.
Ensuring overall Development
The education institutions have also seen more satisfaction and development in students involved in ECA activities compared to those students who aren’t. Students involved in ECA are proactive and have more knowledge which allows them to go outside the spectrum of books and evolve.
“ECA provides a whole holistic development in a student. ECA and CCA (Co-Curriculum Activities) can develop CDL ( Confidence, Decision making and Leadership Skills) in students. This fills in the gap that has been created in Nepal’s Education System. Students can get out of the route learning education system that exists in Nepal and can see an overall development in themselves which the education system lacks to fulfil. Finally, it all comes back to an overall development of students which is excessively necessary.” said Mansun K.C. Assistant Programme Coordinator at Global College of Management.
A Platform to showcase talent
Students are not just good at studying. They have their own personal interest and opinions. They have talents and hobbies. Educational institutions being able to provide these students with a platform to showcase their talent is the way to ensure the student’s development and satisfaction. ECA helps to cater to all these students rather than just being grade oriented.
“I think, ECA and CCA are an integral part of student life. ECA/CCA promotes friendships among students from diverse backgrounds as they learn, play and grow together. Participation in CCA fosters social integration and provides students with a sense of belonging, commitment and sense of responsibility towards their respective school, colleges, University, community and nation. In my opinion, establishing creative and educational clubs in schools and colleges provide students with the chance to pursue their specific interests or ideas, and expands from their course book.” said Sarita Swaraj.
Providing students with Life Skills
In Nepal’s context where students only gain theoretical knowledge but aren’t provided with practical education, ECA can become a bridge to fill this void. Educational institutions can’t expect students to gain life skills only with the help of textbooks. “My child was really good in studies but there always was a gap in practical education that I could feel. He was an introverted child and didn’t socialize quite as often. However, today running his own club, he is a part of a larger community and has gained life-skills which I’m sure are going to be excessively useful in his life” said Ranjana Aryal, a parent.
The benefits of good ECA in an educational institution are just too high to neglect. However, the educational institutions have not been able to provide the students with sufficient EC activities necessary for them. The schools and colleges show the academic pressure, lack of resources and funds for this gap in ECA classes but it’s difficult to accept such excuses seeing the high fee prices and existing students’ interest.
Fortunately, Debating, MUN, Public Speaking, Field Visits, Industrial Visits, Report Writing, Case Study, Self Awareness classes, storytelling, poetry and many other such activities have started to exist alongside the traditional sports activities, presenting an idea of hope for better EC activities. With educational institutions equally in ECA and students seeking out such EC activities, a bright future of Nepalese Education can be achieved.
By: Saugat Pokharel