As simple as the word denotes – ‘after-school learning programs’ are a set of structured activities that happen outside the realm of the regular school’s curriculum but are essential for the all-round development of the students.
But how important is it to be a part of an after-school learning program? Is it a necessity which parent of a school kid can’t do away with?
As a metropolitan resident, I have seen the presence of after-school learning institutions grow like a fad and span across the city. However, there’s no definite black and white to the moot question stated above.
Every individual is special for the ability he/she possesses and while it comes naturally to some due to a great gene pool. For others, nurturing the ability is what makes it into a legitimate skill. And, school years surely play a major role in building them up. Like, if I take my own example, I certainly owe a considerable part of my personality to my schooling and the extra-curricular activities I used to engage in after regular classroom hours which comprised of everything, I could think of trying my hands on. For e.g. Drama, quizzes, olympiads, emceeing, swimming, athletics, debates, dancing, singing, article writing, extempore etc. I was always the ‘Jack of all trades’ and had never any qualms about being ‘master of none’ because these multiple intelligences helped add on to my collection of elite certificates. Also, the attitude made me utilize my time constructively and helped me identify my strength over the years.
Though none of the above became my career choice ultimately however all of the above have been a passive integral part of my career always. Now, this statement might bemuse you, but the fact is that unknowingly all these activities together honed the varied innate skills in me.
Today, as a program manager of an Ed-Tech organization l get a chance to interact with many parents. And, I have realized that sending off the kid for an after-school activity has different features to different parents. For some, it is a medium of keeping the kids at bay and for some, a mere flaunt of status symbol. But there are others who genuinely partake in the process called ‘Education’. As an educator, I advocate and firmly believe in informed parenting. Its, therefore that I discourage and forbid parents to tie short term outcomes to these activities for kids deliver amazing results when the focus is scaled to skill development.
With the advent of technology, it has become more crucial nowadays to enroll child in interests that are beyond traditional academics and keeps them from too much screen time.
At our centers, kids as young as a 4+ or a 5-year-old get to explore a complete personalized knowledge enrichment program in a brick and mortar set up that allows our budding learners to be effective thinkers. The program combines all the elements of 21st century learning like numeracy, analytical thinking, problem-solving and people’s skills.
Being part of a program like this from such early year opens new avenues of learning channels which has a profoundly positive impact in their acumen and growth. And, as they say – “keep striving for progress, not perfection” as trying and progress is the only way to improve.
Looking forward to your thoughts on these readers.