The Future Of ECA In School & College
The COVID-19 pandemic has been disastrous in every aspect. Even powerful nations with proper equipment & tools, well-trained staff and resources have taken quite a severe hit that has caused everyone to confine themselves in their homes – the only sanctuary during this outbreak.
As this contagion continues to spread, many questions arise that further worry us about our future. As a third world country, our situation is not stabilized to the say the least, and we can visibly see our healthcare workers, doctors, and all the directly concerned parties being thrown off their balance once in a while, very frequently.
With reported doctor assaults, refusal of the general population to accept that a deadly disease does exist, the horror spread by the media, hours of load shedding and the modern educational system – all of this have challenged our day-to-day, casual lifestyle. All of this has forced us in a situation no one knows how to cope up with.
In these times, students are suffering the most. They have been compelled to stay inside their homes and to show a keen interest in online studies.
While online academic sessions and classes have saved the students from totally getting cut off from their studies, have there been any steps taken for the continuity of the extracurricular activities in Pakistan?
Are extracurricular activities preferred in Pakistan?
Our education system does not acknowledge the importance of extracurricular activities the way it is recognized and acknowledged abroad. However, whatever minimal development that our educational system has seen over the years, it has led the elite and well-established schools of Pakistan to allot a particular part of the student’s schedule to be occupied by the extracurricular activities. Because of the abrupt halt, the question that arises is, “what about the extracurricular activities after everything reopens?”
Taking in consideration the policies of maintaining a six feet distance that directly points towards the inability to have contact with each other, is going to be a significant problem considering various competitions. Contests that could be held in an enclosed space with a good crowd like singing and dancing competitions, MUNs and Moots, cannot be conducted the way they used to be – so what will be the future of the extracurricular activities in Pakistan? What steps should we take to ensure that our students are provided with equal opportunities regarding the extracurricular activities? Because we all have a good idea that all work and no play can make Jack a dull boy. Doesn’t it?
Since everything has gone online and even after the reopening of the educational institutes, necessary precautions must be taken by each and every student, professor and teacher to ensure their safety, we see no possibility of holding a sports competition or a MOOT, do we? Therefore during such times, our extracurricular activities should also go online, to make sure that our students are doing something that is not directly related to their academics. Because being stagnant or only focusing on academics can have a severe impact on students’ mental health that can lead to a lot of problems in the future.
Steps that should be taken to restore extracurricular activities
As a compensation, we should conduct intramural e-sports tournaments involving games like Call of Duty, PUBG, FIFA, that will allow the students to not only do something that they enjoy, but it will also help them in staying connected with their friends while promoting healthy gaming. Mind games like chess and scrabble can be launched online as well just like all the other e-sports and can be closely monitored to make sure that everything is fair.
Even now, when we do not know when the schools will reopen, we should conduct online competitions- be it an art competition, speech competitions through Zoom or other similar mediums. Sounds impossible? No, it is not. Countries from all over the world including China are organizing such online competitions in order to help the students divert their attention from the current conditions of the city that will allow them to feel normal during such abnormal times.
Why are extracurricular activities important?
Without a doubt, extracurricular activities are vital for character development. They promote the sportsman spirit and allow the students to connect and look at things from different perspectives. If a student’s academics are preferred, extracurricular activities should not be ignored too. Apart from the efforts that we put in to make sure that our students are not lagging anywhere in their academics, consistent efforts should be put in to revive extracurricular activities as they allow the students to discover themselves and stay connected to the world while having fun.