Academics play a significant role in shaping one’s life. It has a direct influence on one’s future career, health, and standard of living. Recognizing this, a majority of the parents send their children to school. Considering the importance of academics, they lay enormous emphasis on marks and grades, ignoring extracurricular activities. Extracurricular activities being non-academic, the widespread tendency is to regard them as not important. Therefore, until recently, encouragement and participation in organized or structured extracurricular activity has largely been voluntary and restricted to a few schools and/or children belonging to upper social strata. Though almost all schools have at least one period in a week devoted to physical education/training, on many occasions, due to the lack of resources, children are left on their own to play or do whatever they want. Sometimes, if the syllabus is not completed, even this one period is taken up for academics. Not knowing the value of extracurricular activities, several schools use extracurricular activities period as a privilege, which is taken away every time a child shows undesirable behaviour. Though extracurricular activities have several indirect and direct benefits in academics as well as in non- academics, not many are aware of it. Research over several decades has shown that participating in one or more structured extracurricular activities has physical, emotional, psychological, academic, and social benefits. These benefits range from improvement in general health, emotional regulation, study skills, subject grade points, and aptitude test scores to increase in self-esteem. In addition, it also teaches respect for social values, customs, rules, and individual differences. On the other hand, participation in structured extracurricular activities has been shown to reduce negative and delinquent behaviours. Given the extent of benefits, it becomes imperative to advocate incorporating extracurricular activities into the regular schedule of all schools throughout the country.
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