Balancing academics with co-curricular activities
Updated on Nov 14, 2018 - 10:03 a.m. IST by Amita Jain

Manju Lakhanpal, Principal of DPS Shaheed path Lucknow, talks to Amita Jain on how technology and extracurricular activities can ensure holistic development of students...

Q. Has your school integrated technology in education? Any ill effects?

A. We go by the motto of Education-Technology-Sports and all our classes have smart classes which make teaching more effective. Moreover, our teachers have been trained in using a variety of digital tools. They all are a part of Microsoft Educator Community through which they learn about latest technology at work and adopt relevant teaching methodology in classrooms. I think the ill-effects of using technology are hardly any, except that in general, the overuse of technology has taken away active reading habits of students. To counter that, we encourage reading activities among students.

Q. Students’ security is a huge concern these days. How can schools ensure students’ safety?

A. Yes, it is indeed a matter of great concern. Recent spate of incidents of violence against students, whether in India or abroad, is very alarming. We have CCTV cameras monitoring the campus all the time. We also keep organizing counselling sessions for students, and recently a batch of students has participated in an international project “Creating Safe Spaces in School” to find more ways of promoting students’ security and safety. Measures like these should be used by other schools as well. 

Q. How do you ensure a balance of academic performance with extracurricular activities?

A. We have our students engaged in a lot of co-curricular activities on regular basis. We have large open areas for sports. Mandatory sports have been introduced where students can choose from various choices like cricket, volleyball, basketball, football, taekwondo, skating, table tennis, kho-kho and lawn tennis. Furthermore, all students are encouraged to participate in inter-school events for enhancing their oratory, literary and sports skills. These activities help students in their overall development. 

So, when a child has to miss classes for participation and practice of co-curricular activities, we ensure that our students are guided by their teachers in extra time. We make sure that no student suffers and the facilitators ensure the task completion. Also, we try to take different students for different activities, ensuring that all children participate in school events and don’t lose out in studies.

Q. Our students appear overburdened in terms of curriculum. How can we ease this burden?

A. Yes, I do feel that curriculum can be made more precise and concise. It becomes very taxing for students otherwise. We can ease this burden by re-framing the curriculum, which is thankfully already in process as per CBSE initiative.

Q. Any practices to reduce exam stress?

A. We keep counselling our students, especially before midterm exams, during session ends and near board exams. Even during preparation leaves, our teachers are always available for students. Moreover, we also counsel parents alongside to not over-pressurize their children.

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