Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Schools Must Ensure Balanced Development

The aim of education is not only to impart some factual knowledge to the students but to ensure their overall and balanced development. Children do not need only mental development but also physical, social, moral and emotional ones. All these needs cannot be met only with book reading. They need specific activities to satisfy these needs. And, these needs can be satisfied through proper co-curricular activities. Unfortunately, these facts are not realized by different schools in our country. Both the public and private schools in Afghanistan lack facilities and even the will to give proper preference to co-curricular activities. The public schools are mostly irresponsible in this regard, while the private schools have their businesses to pursue. Therefore, the schools in our country require to have comprehensive co-curricular programs as they ensure proper development of the students.
Co-curricular activities ensure a balance and wholesome personality development. They make children well-adjusted physically, mentally, emotionally and socially. They are helpful in moral training. Children find opportunities to decide and choose the right things and to learn the great values of self-control and moderation. Through the community life of games and activities, the children learn an inner discipline which remains with the children as a directing and restraining influence when they are away from the school. Students, through co-curricular activities, develop a sense of cooperation. They study, work, play and visit together and co-operate with each other. So a spirit of team work and coordination develops among them.  
By taking part in co-curricular activities, pupils realize the relation of the society to the individual and of the individual to the society. The pupils become members of the group and thus they learn universal brotherhood, true democracy and cooperation. In fact, schools can become a sort of primary training ground for democracy. They should be organized and administrated on democratic lines. This will help students to become active citizens and to develop civic sense.
Co-curricular activities retain not only the physical health but also the mental health of the students. By doing regular exercise their bodies become healthy, which ultimately generate healthy minds. At the same time, because of the psychological training involved in such activities the students get ample chances of improving their mental health.
One of the most important aspects of the co-curricular activities is that they will inculcate discipline among the students. Every activity has some rules and regulations. During these activities students abide by these rules and regulations and they become well-disciplined. The same discipline learning can support students to develop a sense of respect for discipline in other spheres of life.
Most of the co-curricular activities are performed in the form of teams and groups which need a leader. So leadership qualities are created in the students. And, when students spend their spare time in constructive and positive activities, their time is saved to be wasted in destructive and negative work. Moreover, during co-curricular activities students attend different matches and compete with each other in order to win these matches. Thus, they develop a sense of competition which is of great help in their future life.
There are different sorts of activities that can be adopted as co-curricular activities by the schools in Afghanistan. One of them is school assembly. By arranging school assembly, the students get together, recite verses from Holy Quran, sing national anthem and raise national flag. These all acts will develop a sense of patriotism among the students.
Students can also be allowed to organize unions and associations for different sorts of purposes, for example, art council etc. These unions and associations can help students in their social lives in future.
Sports and games form an integral part of co-curricular activities. Therefore, the schools must ensure that they have enough space for sports activities, like football, cricket, basketball etc. Unfortunately, most of the schools in our country only have some classrooms while there are many others that even do not have classrooms, as well.
Different sorts of competitions like debate, quiz, writing and many others can support students in developing their skills like oratory and speaking skills and show their different sorts of talents, as well. They will also enable them to express themselves freely and confidently.
The government authorities, particularly Afghanistan Ministry of Education, requires to have a proper check on the schools and ensure that they include co-curricular activities in their programs. Limiting the students only to the books will limit their thinking horizons and ultimately deprive them of different skills and advantages which they have the potential for and, at the same time, the right to learn. In the run for quantity, mostly the quality has been ignored in education sector in the country. Many public and private schools have been established only to increase the number of the schools and the students attending them, not to generate proper education and personality development of the students.