Schools in Singapore are slowly reopening more activities for their students as the government tries to normalise school operations for students.
The latest changes the Ministry of Education (MOE) allowed schools to resume are co-curricular activities (CCAs) starting June 29. According to the MOE, CCAs are important for students as it is a part of their school experience.
Selected CCAs are Back in Schools
With the new announcement, select CCAs will be allowed such as CCAs which can be taught online such as dance, art, robotics and computer programming. If the CCA requires physical activities, it will be done at a classroom level to reduce intermingling. The MOE says that this will allow students who did not choose a certain CCA to learn it with their classmates.
Physical education classes will be permitted if they will involve sports or activities that have minimal physical contact or small player ratio, such as volleyball, table tennis, and badminton. Only five students per group that join these sports and several safety measures will be applied to keep them safe.
MOE centre-based sessions, including those done at the MOE Language centres, will also begin its operations starting June 29.
The new changes come as the country proceeds to Phase 2 of reopening its economy. Schools have already started allowing students to go back in small numbers while still utilising online learning. Meanwhile, private tuition and enrichment classes have also resumed since June 19 with safety standards also being followed. Only vocal training enrichment classes and singing are not allowed.
10 Reasons CCAs are important
The announcement that co-curricular activities can now resume in schools can be seen differently by parents. Some parents would be open to it because it is a part of their child’s education and they believe that schools will do their best to protect their children from the virus. Others will not be happy with it because of the existing risks of COVID throughout Singapore.
But, why is CCA really important for our children? Here are 10 reasons why CCAs are important for your child’s time as a student:
1) Learn key life skills and traits
While doing any CCA, your children will learn key life skills such as social skills, teamwork and critical thinking. They will also develop their leadership skills and be able to relate to various people than those who don’t have CCAs.
Some CCAs like NPCC and NCC educate discipline and restraint while others like Soccer Club emphasis on teamwork.
2) Build commitment and responsibility
Students who have CCAs learn to become committed to the tasks they are taking a part of. They do their best to give their 100% in the activity and this commitment is also channeled in other activities that they do.
Since they commit themselves to their activities, they understand the importance of responsibility and accountability which are important life skills.
3) Time-Management And Prioritisation
CCAs are done after school hours and happen several times a week. Since they happen regularly each week, it will require long-term commitment from your child to keep up with their CCA and learn how to manage their time wisely which is a big help in exam preparations as explained here.
Your child will start learning which tasks they have to do first and complete them on time so they will be able to do their CCAs without problems.
4) Expose Your Child to Diverse Interests
As your child grows older, they will slowly discover what activities and topics that they like to pursue and explore.
With CCAs, they can discover their interest and develop other interests at the same time. Your children may even discover what career they want to pursue in the future.
5) Learning new skills
CCAs are made to help students learn new skills that will help them grow and mature.
If they join physical fitness-related CCAs, they will learn how to do sports or the physical activity for themselves. They will also become interested in learning a new sport they just discovered. Aside from learning a sport or new activity, it will also hone their reaction times and hand-to-eye coordination.
If they take part in arts or musical-related CCAs, they will learn how to play instruments, use their voice to sing and draw. Meanwhile, if they join clubs, your children will learn how to interact with other people and improve their leadership capabilities and communication skills like speaking up in class.
No matter what kind of CCAs your child will choose, they will definitely learn something new that they can use in the future.
6) Making new friends
CCAs are a great opportunity for kids to get to know other students who share the same interests as they do outside their classroom.
Your children may even learn from their peers in these CCAs which they may not have considered before and even see the world differently the more your children get to know their new friends. Peers are a healthy influence in studies as shown here.
7) Improved academic performance
Several studies like ours show that students who have CCAs often have great academic grades and performance. CCAs teach students key skills like time management and improve their confidence.
When they apply what they learn in CCAs, they will be able to perform well in class and balance their academics well.
8) Introduce camaraderie with others
Since CCAs will help children meet new people, their friendship will definitely last a long time. The time they spent in the CCA will build the sense of camaraderie and belonging. They will learn how to collaborate with others in the future as well.
This is typically useful in project work in higher education where a good portion of grades comes from. Also, in society, a high EQ is as important as IQ.
9) Improves the sense of teamwork and interpersonal skills
Before they can build camaraderie with their CCA peers, your child will need to learn how to interact with others and work with them.
In most CCAs, students need to learn how to work with others to reach a goal and win. In academic, your child will need to effective brainstorming with his peers and present his ideas to others articulately.
10) Opens opportunities
Having a CCA participation can be a big plus for your children if they intend to apply for certain universities or scholarships.
Many universities now are looking at a student’s CCA records to determine if a student should be considered for a slot for the course they are applying for.
Aside from being able to become proficient with their academics, children also have to learn life skills while in school with the help of CCAs. Some students will definitely benefit from them, especially if they are uncertain about their future career.
No matter what kind of CCAs they choose, it will also improve their overall school experience and help with their development as a person.
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