Edge to ed­u­ca­tion

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - BRIGHT KIDS -

WHETHER it is bas­ket­ball, karate, sci­ence club or the­atre, ac­tiv­i­ties that al­low chil­dren to ex­plore a wide scope of in­ter­ests now have a more prom­i­nent place in schools na­tion­wide.

This month, Bright Kids looks at core as­pects of gain­ing a solid ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ex­pe­ri­ence at pri­vate and in­ter­na­tional schools.

“In a sur­vey held among vis­i­tors to the re­cent Pri­vate and In­ter­na­tional School Fair in July, par­ents ranked fees as the most im­por­tant con­sid­er­a­tion when choos­ing an in­ter­na­tional school for their chil­dren, fol­lowed by lo­ca­tion and cur­ricu­lum of­fered.

“Teach­ers, school cul­ture and val­ues, as well as rep­u­ta­tion came next,” says Nickie Yew, co- founder and di­rec­tor of fair or­gan­iser Mint Com­mu­ni­ca­tions.

Yew goes on to say that most par­ents are aware of the im­por­tance of an all- rounded ed­u­ca­tion and have be­gun to seek suitable op­por­tu­ni­ties in their chil­dren’s po­ten­tial schools.

“This means that in ad­di­tion to pre­par­ing stu­dents aca­dem­i­cally, there should also be op­por­tu­ni­ties for stu­dents to de­velop abil­i­ties in sports, mu­sic, art, drama, dance and more. There­fore, it is be­com­ing in­creas­ingly im­por­tant for schools to pro­vide facilti­ies for these ac­tiv­i­ties.”

Fa­cil­i­ties –

Par­ents play a sig­nif­i­cant role in en­cour­ag­ing co- cur­ric­u­lar in­volve­ment among chil­dren.

Com­mon un­der­stand­ing on the im­por­tance of these ac­tiv­i­ties has evolved since pre­vi­ous decades to align with the prin­ci­ples of holis­tic ed­u­ca­tion so widely ap­plied to­day.

ECA ( ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties) co­or­di­na­tor at elc In­ter­na­tional School Jessie Mo­han­raj says, “To­day, the work­ing world has be­come more com­pet­i­tive and ECA can give can­di­dates an edge.

“Re­gard­less of per­sonal sen­ti­ments, I be­lieve stu­dents these days would join ex­tracur­ric­u­lar ac­tiv­i­ties to beef up their fu­ture re­sumes, some­thing peo­ple in my gen­er­a­tion and older would not have con­sid­ered do­ing.

“Par­ents to­day, un­der­stand­ing the sig­nif­i­cance of these ac­tiv­i­ties, def­i­nitely put more im­por­tance on them and en­sure that their chil­dren go for dif­fer­ent lessons af­ter school or on the week­ends.”

Be­sides par­ents, the in­volve­ment of teach­ers also dic­tate ECA in­ter­est and in­volve­ment among their stu­dents.

“In­spired teach­ers make for in­spir­ing ECA. There has to be some­thing about ac­tiv­ity that draws a stu­dent to it, and you would be hard pressed to find a well thought out ac­tiv­ity that has been planned by a teacher who does not want to carry out the ac­tiv­ity in the first place,” opines Jessie.

With schools ev­ery­where in the coun­try of­fer­ing an ex­ten­sive host of ac­tiv­i­ties that ap­peal to a wide range of in­ter­ests, teach­ers can go the ex­tra mile in draw­ing out the best in stu­dents based on their in­di­vid­ual skills, tal­ents and per­son­al­i­ties.

Sup­port – Lead­er­ship –

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