Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Youth Empowerment through Extracurricular Activities

Dr Pranati Purohit
Department of Applied Sciences
The NorthCap University, Gurgaon

The MHRD aims for higher education for promotion of basic sciences encompassing creation of research centers of the highest caliber in which teaching and education in basic sciences will be totally integrated with state-of-the-art research. These institutions are devoted forpost-graduate teaching in sciences in an intellectually vibrant atmosphere of research.These institutions make education and career in basic sciences more attractive by providing opportunities in integrative teaching and learning of sciences. In order to support the aim and goal of MHRD, there are M.Sc. colleges/ universities in Gurgaon offering various master programmes in basic sciences through regular classroom teaching & distance learning programsfor a duration of 2yrs.   These institutes are driven by vision & philosophy of destination to success. Industry centric course curriculum are coupled with research & innovation, quality education, knowledge to action, leadership innovation with ethics etc.Among these institutions, The NorthCap University (NCU) at Gurgaon has become a name attracting students from across the India for offering quality education driven by the vision & philosophy of being independent, innovative & inspiring.

Educators suggest that an individual’s participation in extracurricular activities can build young persons’ interests in study, strengthening their sense of identity and exposing them to greater exposure and self-satisfaction from service. Reading, writing, and other indispensable academic skills are intertwined with learning about self, communicating and working well with others, and gaining broader understanding of cultural influences. Extracurricular activities can provide opportunities: (a) to acquire and practice specific social, physical and intellectual skills that may be useful in wide variety of settings; (b) to contribute to the well being of one’s community; (c) to belong to socially recognized and valued group; (d) to establish supportive social networks of peers and adults which can help in present as well as in future; and (e) to experience and deal with challenges. In other words, with the help of extracurricular activities youth can exercise their skills, especially the social and emotional skills to face the real problems in the society. Unfortunately, many colleges do not empower their extracurricular activity optimally. Some of the colleges have the provision of extracurricular activities only for fulfilling the government regulation or to raise their image.

College/institution based extracurricular activities are unique in several ways and characterized by some conditions. First, extracurricular activities are one of the few aspects of leisure actively promoted by colleges/institutions and are thus amenable to programmatic and social policy initiatives. For example, requirements for art, music, and physical education may expose youth to experiences that they may not have at home.This encourages them to enroll in institution-based extracurricular activities such as band, theatre, or sports, and enrich their leisure outside of college/institution. Many courses outside the traditional academic curriculum are designed specifically to provide youths with skills that will last for a lifetime. Second condition is voluntary participation in college/institution-sponsored extracurricular activities which provides similar advantages.

Education is one of the four pillars to build a strong economy driven by knowledge & ethics, which will help us make a healthy society for living. In order to produce a good post graduate, along with the soft skills they have, colleges/institutions must also empower their extracurricular activities. Each activity can develop different root of character.

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