Role of Co-curricular Activities in Social Development of Students in Public Secondary Schools in Kenya

African Research Journal of Education and Social Sciences, Vol. 3, 2016

Author: Anthony M. Wanjohi, Projects and Research Unit, Kenya Projects Organization, P.O. Box 85726 – 00200, Nairobi – Kenya | Email: wanjohi@kenpro.org


Abstract

The general role of school co-curricular activities can never be underestimated in any progressive education system. However, the stress on academic performance in retrogressive education systems tends to overshadow the place of co-curricular activities. The main purpose of this study was to examine the role of co-curricular activities in social development among students in secondary schools in Kenya. The study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design. The sample consisted of ninety two students from public secondary schools in Suneka division, Kenya. Random sampling procedure was used to arrive at the sample. Questionnaire served as the principal data collection tool owing to its appropriateness in reaching out to a large number of the participants. A statistical application, namely SPSS was used to process the collected data. Descriptive statistics were used to report the findings. The study showed that participation of students in the co-curricular activities helped them to gain certain social values such discipline, tolerance, co-operation and spirit of team work. The activities also helped them in creating a sense of responsibility, judgment, acceptance of defeat and cultivation of moral values. Thus, a policy framework, which seeks to strike balance between the mainstream academic activities and co-curricular activities, should be deliberated both at school and national levels.

Keywords: Co-curricular activities, Students’ social development, school co-curriculum, co-curricular activities role, School Co-curricular Activities


1. Introduction

There are a number of co-curricular activities carried out in schools. These include sports, music, speech, drama, debate where young people learn lifelong lessons as important as those taught in the classroom. These activities have their own contributions in both social and academic development of learners. A number of studies have been conducted on the influence of co-curricular activities on in the teaching and learning process. For instance, Russel, Peter, Donald and Robert (2000) carried out a study on co-curricular involvement in high schools. The study was limited to influence of activities on student’s behaviour. Another study by Davalos, Shavez and Guardiola (1999) examined the effects of co-curricular activities on dropout rates in Mexican-American youths. The study showed that co-curricular activities helped to increase enrollment among the Mexican-American youths as compared to those who were not involved in the activities. From the previous studies, it is evident co-curriculum activities play a critical role not only in increasing enrollment but also enhancing academic performance and building character (Bush, 2003).

Despite the fact that the place of co-curricular activities in teaching and learning process is undoubtedly well grounded, more emphasis in Kenya’s education system has generally been given to the regular curriculum aspect of education, which puts more stress on academic performance forgetting the role of co-curricular activities in students’ social development.  Owing to the existing gaps associated with the overemphasis of curriculum activities at the expense of the co-curricular students’ engagement in Kenya’s schools, this study intended to examine the role of co-curricular activities in social development of students in selected public secondary schools in Suneka, Kenya.

2. Methodology

In order to examine the role of co-curricular activities in social development of students in selected public secondary schools in Suneka, this study adopted a cross-sectional survey research design owing to the large population that was targeted. The sample consisted of ninety two students from the selected public secondary schools in Suneka. Random sampling procedure was used to arrive at the sample. Questionnaire served as the principal data collection tool owing to its appropriateness in reaching out to a large number of the participants. The questionnaire was structured based on the study parameters. A statistical application, namely SPSS was used to process the collected data. Descriptive statistics including frequencies and percentages were used to report the findings on the role of co-curricular activities in social development of students in selected public secondary schools.

3. Results and Discussion

The study sought to establish the role of co-curricular activities in students’ social Development among students in Suneka Division of Kisii South District in Kenya. This was based on the understanding that the co-curriculum aspect of the education prepares and moulds the student to be holistic. However, more emphasis has generally been given to the regular curriculum aspect, which results to the students’ inability to link the excellence in academic performance to the active participation in co-curriculum (Rashid & Sasidhar, 2005).

The findings of the study showed that co-curricular activities contributed towards students’ social development in a number of ways:  instilling discipline, building tolerance, enhancing co-operation, creating a sense of responsibility, improving in judgment, accepting defeat and improving moral values.

role-cocurricular-activities-figure-arjess-2016

A considerable number of the respondents indicated that instilling discipline (26 per cent), building tolerance (23 per cent) and enhancing co-operation (19 per cent) were the key social values that co-curriculum activities helped to instill among students. A few indicated that co-curricular activities also helped in creating a sense of responsibility, improving students’ judgment, accepting defeat and improving moral values among students. Other contributions of co-curricular activities included helping some students to earn a living as a career, enhancing critical thinking, building self-confidence and earning self respect and respect for others and creating exposure.

Earlier studies show that the contribution of co-curricular activities in students’ social development is immense. The results of a study by Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association (ASAA) (1997) indicated that students who participate in school-based sport programs are good school citizens and may be even better school citizens than their non-sport peers. Another study by Russel, Peter, Donald and Robert (2000) found that co-curriculum involvement in high school produces honesty and fair play needed to prevent delinquency and crime.

4. Conclusion

Besides enhancing academic performance among students, co-curricular activities broaden students’ social skills including building tolerance and enhancing cooperation. Thus, co-curriculum activities form a fundamental and central part of integral and quality education.

Members of school community, including school administrators, teachers, parents, educational planners and policy makers should therefore be encouraged to work together towards formulating policy framework that lays emphasis on striking balance between intellectual and physical, social and emotional development of learners.

References

Bush, J.M. (2003). The effect of extracurricular activities on school dropout. Honors Projects. Paper 16. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.iwu.edu/psych_honproj/16

Davalos, D.B., Chavez, E.L., & Guardiola, R.J. (1999). The effects of extracurricular activity, ethnic identification, and perception of school on student dropout rates. Hispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 21, 61-77.

Poon, P. & Spence, J.C. (1997). Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association Student Survey. Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association. Retrieved April 15 2009 from http://www.centre4activeliving.ca/publications/research-reports/1997-asaa.htm

Rashid, A., Sitra, A., Medan, T., Sasidhar, B. (2005). Teachers’ perception on the effectiveness of co-curricular activities: A case study of Malaysian schools. Retrieved from https://www.scribd.com/document/49294301/teachers-perception-on-the-effectiveness-of-co-curricular-activities-a-case-study-of-malaysian-school

Russell, N.C., Peter, C., Donald, F.D.& Robert, C.R. (2000). Extracurricular involvement in high school produces honesty and fair play needed to prevent delinquency and crime. Education. Chula Vista.


Suggested Citation:

Wanjohi, A.M. (2016). Role of Co-curricular Activities in Social Development of Students: A Study of Selected Public Secondary Schools in Suneka, Kenya. African Research Journal of Education and Social Sciences, Vol. 3. Available at http://www.arjess.org/education-research/role-of-co-curricular-activities-in-social-development-of-students-a-study-of-selected-public-secondary-schools-in-suneka-kenya/


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