The Telegraph
Saturday , February 11 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Fun Saturdays for schoolchildren
- School dedicates a day to special lessons

Feb. 10: A whole day at school full of games or music, dance or painting lessons is a dream for many schoolchildren here, especially those from government schools. But that dream has just come true for students of a city school.

The Cambridge School at Sarusajai has decided to keep Saturdays aside for games and extracurricular activities from the next academic session, which starts in April. The aim: to ensure that students excel in all spheres of life be it education or a vocation or pastime of their choice.

Talking to The Telegraph, the school’s principal, Pulak Bhattacharyya, said, “On other days, the students do not get much time for extracurricular activities as they have to concentrate on studies. Besides, it is difficult for them to concentrate on studies just after playing games, which involves physical activity.”

Assam schools have been neglecting extracurricular activities for decades. Though many private schools are focussing on it, government schools still cut a sorry figure. There are not even sports teachers in government schools of the state.

Though most private schools have realised the importance of the role played by such activities in shaping a student’s personality, most make room for the activities in certain periods of the day, usually between classes.

Till date, not even a single school here had set aside a whole day for sports and artistic activities.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has also made extracurricular activities a part of the school curriculum. In CBSE affiliated schools, activeness of a student in extracurricular activities is also evaluated under their continuous and comprehensive evaluation system.

Most parents consider it a plus if schools start imparting such extra lessons, as it would save them the hassle of admitting their children to other institutions to take lessons in music, art, dance or sport.

Paramananda Duarah, a parent, said there would be no need for additional arrangements to hone a child in extra skills if schools started providing such lessons. “He would feel more comfortable in a familiar environment. It will also be less expensive.”

“We want our child to learn music. It is good that schools in the city are increasingly giving emphasis on extracurricular activities, as these will help the students. Like CBSE, the state government should also take the initiative to make extracurricular activities a part of the curriculum in government schools,” another guardian, Pallab Bora, said.

Pulak Bhattacharyya said a group of students of their school would be going to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) at Houston, Texas, in the US in March for a brief training. “We are hopeful that the training will help our students immensely,” he added.

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