You are on page 1of 20

http://www.idebate.org/debatabase/topic_details.php?

topicID=839

Co-curricular activities in schools Summary: Should schools and colleges increase the importance placed on co-curricular activities, so that they are formally recognised as equal to the academic curriculum?

print this page Discuss topic

Introduction

Author:Daniel Nesan ( Malaysia )

Created: Friday, January 02, 2009 Last Modified: Friday, January 02, 2009

Context

The term curriculum refers to the programme of study in various academic subjects (e.g Maths, English, History, Science, Spanish) followed by students at various levels of education. The school or colleges teaching staff are employed to teach this curriculum, and students are periodically assessed (e.g. by exams and term papers) in their progress in each curriculum subject. As they grow older, students achievements in their curriculum subjects are seen as important in helping them get into a good university or college, and to find a good job when they leave education. Depending on which country you are in, schools and colleges may also be held accountable for their students results in the curriculum subjects. The academic curriculum has never been all that schools and colleges offer to their students. Often a range of other classes, clubs and activities is available to students, sometimes in lessons but more often in the lunch break or after school. These are referred to as the co-curriculum, or as extra-curricular activities, and they are mostly voluntary for students. Examples would include sports, musical activities, debate, Model United Nations, community service, religious study groups, charitable fundraising, Young Enterprise projects, military cadet activities, drama, science clubs, and hobbies such as gardening, crafts, cookery and dance. Because they are not examined in the same way that the academic curriculum is, and because most of them take place outside lessons, such activities have less status in education than the main curriculum. However, they are often held to be very important to the wider education of young men and women. This topic examines whether the co-curriculum should be given more importance in schools and colleges maybe by giving academic credits for co-curricular activities, A distinction could be made between co-curricular and extra-curricular activities,

although most of the time they are used to mean the same thing. The co-curriculum is sometimes seen as a non-academic, but formal part of education, with timetabled and compulsory sessions for all students each student may get to choose what cocurricular activity they wish to pursue, but they are required to follow at least one. Staff are required to run co-curricular activities as part of their contract, and the cocurriculum is generally well-funded. This kind of co-curriculum can be seen in Singapores education system and also in private schools (especially boarding schools) in countries like the UK, the USA and Australia. By contrast, extra-curricular activities are less well organised and funded, being entirely voluntary for students and taking place outside the school timetable. School staff may be involved in running extracurricular activities, but there is no obligation on them to do so and they do not normally receive extra pay for it. Clubs and societies in many UK and American state schools fit this definition, as do non-academic activities in most universities and colleges throughout the world. The arguments which follow can be used to fit either or both definitions.

Arguments

Pros Cons

Co-curricular activities prepare students practically for the future. The normal curriculum can only go so far as to teach and educate students about academic theories. But students whose only experience of school or college is one of rigid academic study may not be able to apply what they have learned in practice. If the cocurriculum was given an equal footing in student life there will be an improvement in the student ability to grasp things as a whole, because students will have received a more rounded education. Co-curricular activities are particularly good at providing opportunities for students to work in teams, to exercise leadership, and to take the initiative themselves. These experiences make students more attractive to universities and to potential employers.

The academic curriculum is really much more important and must continue to be given more status in schools and colleges than the cocurriculum. Students are meant to be receiving an education and gaining recognised qualifications. Higher Education institutions place a greater importance on the curriculum than the co-curriculum when selecting students, and so do employers. Co-curricular activities are nice, but they have never been shown to actually play a vital role in a students life. And if they distract students from focusing on their academic qualifications, then they could be actually harmful.

Most co-curricular activities are physically active, getting the student out from behind their desk and making them try new things. This is healthy and ensures that students are exposed to

There is no obvious logic in having super talented individuals, instead society should lean itself towards making specialised individuals in their selected fields. Most modern careers require

practical tasks, not just what is taught in class. The outcome of giving the co-curriculum the same status as the curriculum will therefore be well balanced individuals. Future politicians, for example, will not only thrive on law or social studies, but will also become fluent in multiple languages, learn to tango and perform several calculus operations simultaneously, while also experiencing service through community work. Such are the more profound benefits of the cocurriculum being integrated into the syllabus.

expert knowledge and skills, which can take years to acquire. We should not distract a student from developing skills in whatever selected field he or she has chosen to specialise in. After all, when you see a doctor or employ an engineer, you are not interested in how well-rounded they are, just in whether they are good at their job. And the Prime Minister does not play soccer or tango in the House of the Commons, therefore they do not require such skills as part of their formal education.

Having a wide range of experiences prepares people better for the future, especially in todays uncertain world. The broad education that the co-curriculum can provide is better preparation for life in a society where an individual may change career several times in their life. Students must therefore have a fundamental grasp of multiple skills. For instance, athletes who had their career cut short due to mishaps might venture into business, having had co-curricular experience of entrepreneurship as part of their education. Speech and debate clubs might give a doctor or engineer the communication skills to move into broadcasting, teaching, or even politics. Placing more emphasis on the cocurriculum thus ensures a variety of possibilities for young people to choose from instead of being sidelined.

Most specialist professions still provide a range of career opportunities, without any need to compromise academic education by overemphasis on non-academic activities. For example, athletes who have been injured in mishaps can continue their career in the same field but just in a different post. No longer could they play, but they could still coach or even give sports science lectures to aspiring super stars. And if someone does wish to radically switch career in mid-life, there are plenty of evening classes and continuing education opportunities to allow them to retrain.

Students have a right to a broad education. Why should a science student have to give up music, or a social studies major not get opportunities for sport? Many children have talents in all sorts of different areas, and it is wrong to force them to specialise too early. A career is not the only part of an adults life school needs to make sure they have interests and skills that will help them in their family and leisure lives too. Through equal balancing of academic and co-curriculum, however, the students have the chance to exercise their rights and the opportunity to be

Choice works two ways. If co-curricular activities are so good, then students should have right to choose whether they wish to pursue them, rather than forcing them to give equal importance to something they do not wish to do. Through equalising the demands of academic and co-curriculums there exists the possibility that a student may drop out because he or she may not be able to cope with the demands of both sets of activities. The right to an education is best exercised by giving students the choice to decide what field their lives would like to be based on,

multi-talented. Lopsided individuals are not the key to the future, instead by recognising each individual by their talents there exists a higher possibility for young people to learn and to grow in their studies.

and about how to pursue these aims.

Many students do not take advantage of the extra-curricular opportunities they are currently offered. They may instead waste their time lazing around, or maybe even making trouble. These young people do not know what they are missing; if they could be made to try other activities they would surely enjoy them and gain a lot of benefit. If the co-curriculum was given formal importance, with students required to undertake at least one activity, then more people would try new things, and discover they like them.

Making extra-curricular activity compulsory will take the fun out of it and strip it of its benefits. Successful extra-curricular groups work precisely because the students have voluntarily chosen to be there. If some were forced to take part, they would be less enthusiastic and spoil the activity for the rest. And the more the activity is like ordinary school, the less attractive it will be to young people. Most of the personal development benefits associated with extra-curricular commitments such as altruistic service, initiative-taking, and leadership skills come from the voluntary nature of the activity. If that voluntary aspect is removed, then the benefits are lost too.

An ambitious co-curricular programme is quite affordable for schools and colleges of all kinds. State schools in Singapore and many public universities in the USA are able to offer strong co-curriculums, and elsewhere many statefunded institutions have thriving extra-curricular activities. Most co-curricular pursuits are not expensive to run, and those activities that might be more expensive, such as military cadet groups and science clubs, can often apply to outside agencies for funding. Staff often given their time free, because they believe the activities are worthwhile for the students and enjoyable for themselves to run, and many groups can also be supported by unpaid volunteers from the wider community.

Giving a greater place in education to the cocurriculum means that many more clubs and activities will have to be organised for students. This will be very expensive as it will require more staff and more resources to be paid for. This explains why most schools that currently offer a large co-curriculum are well-funded fee-paying institutions. Most ordinary schools, dependent on state-funding, will never be able to match this spending and could not aim to offer an ambitious co-curriculum. If they try, it will be at the expense of more important academic activities.

Many towns today do not have a strong civil society, and in more rural areas there may be no groups at all for young people to join outside

Giving co-curricular activities greater importance in education can be harmful to civil society as a whole. There are many clubs, teams and groups

school. If schools and colleges do not provide opportunities for youngsters to broaden their experiences, then students will not get them at all. Boosting the place of the co-curriculum in schools is one way of addressing this weakness in modern society, as it will equip young people with the civic spirit, initiative and organising skills to set up their own clubs, teams and activity groups when they leave education. Finally, a successful co-curriculum often depends on building links between the school and the wider community, bringing local enthusiasts in to work with students, and sending students out to work on community projects, help in primary schools, perform for local audiences, etc.

available for young people already in most areas e.g. Scouts, religious work, music, drama, sport, voluntary work in the community, etc. Why should these be ignored and only those done in school given academic credit of some kind? Often pursuits offered by schools end up replicating those already available in the wider community. For example, a school hockey team may deprive the local towns hockey club of young players, while school adventure activities might weaken the communitys Scouting and Guiding groups. So a strong co-curriculum may have the effect of killing off lots of worthwhile community-based activities because they do not receive school credit. This would be a shame as a strong civil society is vital to a thriving democratic culture, but also because groups that involve people of all ages possess great social and educational value.

http://www.sun2surf.com/article.cfm?id=13831

University admissions, co-curricular activities to count for 10%


B. Suresh Ram

KUALA LUMPUR: Co-curricular activities will make up 10% of entry requirements into local public universities from this year, says Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed. "Excellent academic achievements will no longer be the sole criteria for students securing places in universities and institutions of higher learning," he said. He told reporters in Parliament lobby today (April 17, 2006) that students had been notified of this, and the requirement is also contained in the university application guidebook. For those who had submitted their application on-line, the information would be berified with the respective schools to ensure it is accurate. Co-curricular activities that will enhance their chances to gain entry into public universities are sports, associations, uniformed units, and National Service. Mustapa said it is compulsory for students to be involved in at least two of these co-curricular activities for them to gain entry into universities. Earlier, replying to a question in the House from Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut), he said of the 1,657 1st Class Honours graduates last year, 1,067 were female and 590 male. They made up 2% of those who graduated. Mustapa said the academic excellence of a graduate is not only measured from such undergraduates obtaining First Class Honours but also their involvement in co-curriculum and research. In the field of co-curriculum, there have been several excellent achievements such as that of UiTM's Ahmad Reduan and Muhammad Muqharabbin who reached the peak of Mount Everest in 2003 and that of International Islamic University graduate Melati Abdul Hamid who won the best debater university award worldwide at the International Legal Debate held in the United States in 2004. In the field of research, meanwhile, the achievement of Najmil Faiz Mohamed Aris was given recognition internationally when he tabled his research findings on Micro Machine Process before the British Parliament as well as winning the The Best Research of Good Prospect in 2005. In the field of medicine University Malaya's Wong Sook San, who is currently conducting research on dengue at the PhD level in Universiti of Melbourne, has been announced as the winner of the Prime Minister of Malaysia Melbourne Scholarship award worth RM520,000.

Personally, I am a big proponent of students being active or in fact hyper active in co-curricular activities. In my personal opinion, there is a lot of value to gain from being active in such activities. A lot of soft skills would be able to be obtained through such involvements. You would be mingling with others (outside of classroom setting), so you get some interactions. There will be some skill sets learning as well, depending on type of clubs/societies etc. For those uniformed bodies, discipline is learned in the process too. Learn how to obey to the command of the leaders and carry out instructions. Those are very crucial. Punctuality and respect for others' opinion would be learned in the process too. And for those who have the opportunity to serve as leaders in the clubs/societies/uniformed bodies, you get a chance to lead a group, be it big or small, and it is a good step ahead to learn your management skills, leadership skills, time management, ability to handle stress/risk, decision making, task delegation, carrying out meetings etc. During school/college/university time, you can afford to make mistakes and learn from it. So, the cocurricular activities that you get involved would be good training ground for you to learn and practice. Practice does make one to be more perfect in doing things. You would also learn the service culture, especially if you are involved in those groups that would do community service and helping out the needies through activities, projects, fund raising etc. With such amount of benefits of co-curricular activities, I would really encourage everyone to be really involved in it. And if you observe, I didn't mention anything on the certificate. I really don't think students should participate in co-curricular activities, because they would get the certificate. To me, that's not the right reason. One should be involved in the process and learn from the process.

http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2006/4/16/nation/13975706&sec=nation

Sunday April 16, 2006

Activities to count in varsity entrance


PETALING JAYA: Starting next year, the Education Ministry will be responsible for the calculation of points for those applying to public institutions of higher learning (IPTAs) based on co-curricular activities. And in line with the decision to adopt the 90:10 ratio in terms of weightage given to academic results and co-curricular activities for entry to IPTAs, the Education Ministry will be working closely with the Higher Education Ministry to streamline these activities at the school level. Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said this in joint statement yesterday. Currently, admission is based on examination results, with co-curricular performance being used as the tie-breaker in cases where two students have the same cumulative grade point average. National Union of the Teaching Profession president Ismail Nihat said the new system would be a good way to give certain students an edge, as there were now many who excelled academically. However, the ministry should have a common standard of assessment and ensure that the process is transparent, he said. On another matter, the ministers announced that a joint committee comprising senior officers of both ministries had been established. It will meet monthly. Among other things, the committee will discuss the oversupply of teachers comprehensively, they said. The ministers also advised institutions involved in training teachers to work closely with each other to ensure that the supply of graduates met the Government's needs and those of private institutions of education.

Tuesday April 18, 2006

Co-curriculum to count in varsity entry


APPLICANTS to public universities must fulfil the co-curriculum requirement starting this year. Higher Education Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed said applications would be assessed based on the student's academic achievement (90%) and co-curriculum involvement (10%). Students have been informed about this system and it is also stated in the guide book, he told a press conference at the Parliament lobby. They have filled up the forms online and the ministry is now verifying the facts with their schools to ensure no fabrication of details. Mustapa said students could choose to join two out of four types of co-curriculum, which are association, sports, uniformed unit and national service. He said from next year, schools would be provided with a set of marks to assess the students. We will empower schools to give marks to students beginning next year, which will determine the students entry into public universities, he said.

http://74.6.117.48/search/srpcache?ei=UTF8&p=curicular+activity+in+school+malaysia&rd=r1&meta=vc%3Dmy&xa=tKcf0dKWrxQ10TPEMRr1 iw--%2C1291993235&fr=yfp-t701&fp_ip=my&u=http://cc.bingj.com/cache.aspx?q=curicular+activity+in+school+malaysia&d=49 76827863599825&mkt=en-US&setlang=enUS&w=4c7ae28a,91add13d&icp=1&.intl=us&sig=3cTEao6MHP1Mrz88FG1flw--

TEACHERS' PERCEPTION ON THE EFFECTIVENESS OF CO-CURRICULAR ACTIVITIES: A CASE STUDY OF MALAYSIAN SCHOOLS Abdul Rashid Abdul Sitra Taman Medan Secondary School Bokkasam Sasidhar Universiti Tun Abdul Razak (UNITAR) bsasidhar@unitar.edu.my ABSTRACT Co-curriculum is a very important and essential part of an education system. It is the co-curriculum aspect of the education that prepares and moulds the student to be holistic. Nevertheless more emphasis has generally been given to the curriculum aspect resulting from the students' inability to link the excellence in performance academically to the active participation in co curriculum. This is a study carried out to analyze the teachers' perception of the correlation between the participation of students in co-curriculum and their competency skills. Four main competencies are identified namely communication skill, cognitive skill, self-management skill and academic excellence, and tests are carried out based on these four skills. A field survey by way of questionnaire is carried out in five schools whereby 392 teachers are given the questionnaire. A total of 252 teachers responded, comprising 64.2%. Analysis of the data is done using SPSS. The analysis showed that those students who actively participate in co-curricular activities are found to be more competent. The results of the study corroborate and support earlier studies on this subject. Correlation analysis is done to determine the relationship between the dependent variable and the independent variables. Then regression analysis is carried out to analyze the equation model between these variables. Chi square tests are also carried out to examine whether students' efficiency is independent or dependent on some of the demographical variables. KEYWORDS : Co-curricular Activities, Competency, Students, Teachers' Perception, Effectiveness.

INTRODUCTION Primary schools basically follow a common curriculum that stresses on the basic skills of reading, writing and arithmetic as well as encouraging overall development of aesthetic and social values. This has been particularly emphasized in the Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Rendah (KBSR) system, and much more emphasis has been given to co-curriculum activities, which leads to the building of talented-disciplined characters. In the secondary school a curriculum based on Kurikulum Baru Sekolah Menengah (KBSM) is enforced. This curriculum includes a wide range of subjects for arts and science as well as technical subjects. Together with this has been the emphasis on co-curriculum where every student has to ensure that he or she enrols in at least two co-curricular activities. Emphasis on co-curricular activities has been made because the ministry knows of the positive effect of students being all-rounder when they excel in academic and co-curricular activities. In the upper secondary, students are evaluated through Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examination or the Malaysian Vocational Certificate of Education. Applications for the entrance to pre- university are judged on the above examination but great care is taken to ensure that the selected students are active in curriculum activities too. The education providers are responsible to educate the students to the demands and the needs of the nation. The education in the high school level is the prime concern here. There are many divisions in education. Academic, skills and co curriculum activities are all part and parcel of education. Much emphasis is given to academic, as it is the deciding factor of a student's future. Parents, teachers, and all the other factors have made the academic factor in a students' education life in schools as the most important. In the process co curriculum activities are not taken seriously although the ministry has put stress on the matter that every student has to take part in co curriculum activities for the betterment of the students. However, the participation in full force has yet to be accomplished. It is obvious that students gain knowledge and competency through academic, but can this also be said of students' involvement in the co curricular activities? School is the platform for development, which includes mental and physical development. The concern here is whether students who participate in co-curricular activities are gaining any benefits or is it a mere waste of time and effort by all parties. The importance in education does not only lie only in academic but also in all other fields which are required in educating students, which include skills and co curriculum. This empirical study brings out the fact that the students tend to demonstrate better communicative, cognitive, self managing

and academic skills than those who do not participate in co curriculum, based on the teachers' perceptions.

REVIEW OF LITERATURE Competency building begins at school level. There is extensive literature on competency building and co-curricular activities. Green (1998) emphasized that the contents of competency building will finally ensure that the workforce produced will possess the proficiency and literacy that is required for a good performance. A study carried out by Russel, Peter, Donald and Robert (2000) found that extra curriculum involvement in high school produces honesty and fair play needed to prevent delinquency and crime. According to Rose (2000), repeated records of high school students across the United States have shown that those students who become heavily involved in extra curricular activities tend to be model students and seldom get involved in delinquency and crime. Previous studies reveal that students' involvement in co-curricular activities make them likely to stay in school and improve retention rates. A study done by Davalos, Shavez, and Guardiola (1999) showed the effect of extra curricular activities in students' dropout rates in school for Mexican-American youths. These results support the argument that extracurricular activity involvement may provide individuals with a sense of belonging that may contribute to higher retention rates for these individuals (Oliver, 1995; Zill, 1995). The Education Digest (George, 2002) stated that research showed that student participation in co-curricular activities is reflected in improved academic achievement. A report on The Condition of Education, United States Department of Education, National Centre for Education Statistics in 1995 found that participation in extracurricular activities may affect academic performance, attachment to school and social development. These activities provide opportunities for students to learn the values of teamwork, a channel for reinforcing skills and the opportunity to apply academic skills in other arenas as a part of a well-rounded education (Arkansas Activities Association, n.d.) . According to Education Week, Washington (Anonymous, 2001), new data from the U.S.A shows that participating in curriculum activities link to better performance in school. Modi, Konstantopoulos and Hedges (1998) found that gifted students appear to spend their time out of school participating in constructive activities. John and Robert (1997) indicated that engagement in school co-curricular activity is linked to decrease rates in early dropout in both boys and girls . An article featured in the Cedar Rapids Gazette ("Activities Support," 2000) stated that school activity programs cost very little yet provide students with many important benefits.

Data from various case studies compiled from University Interscholastic League on Benefits of Cocurricular Activities (n.d.) document the following results and benefits: In a survey of 4,800 high school students in March 1995, the Minnesota State High School League found that 91 percent of them said students who participate in school activities tend to be school leaders and role models; 92 percent said that participation in school activities provides an opportunity not found in a regular classroom setting to develop self-discipline. Young (1997) states that quality physical education programs taught by well-trained physical education specialists are an integral part of the total education of a child. Jodi, Reed and David (2003) in their paper in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence wrote about tests conducted on youths. A test of ten groups of students with between 4-9 adolescents in each group was carried out. School counsellors selected participants for these groups who were active in extra curriculum activities and whom they thought would be articulate. The results were quite interesting. Firstly, the youth in the focus groups described of the process of selfexploration occurs in a range of youth activities. Opportunities to try new things allow youth to discover how these fit or do not fit into their developing identity. This leads to the second theme of gaining self-knowledge.

PROBLEM STATEMENT Much emphasis is given to academic, as it is the deciding factor of a student's future. Parents, teachers, and all the other factors have made the academic factor in a students' education life in schools as the most important. In the process co curriculum activities are not taken seriously although the ministry has put stress on the matter that every student has to take part in co curriculum activities for the betterment of the students. However, the participation in full force has yet to be accomplished. It is obvious that students gain knowledge and competency through academic, but can this also be said of students' involvement in the co curricular activities? This empirical study compares the efficiency of students based on communicative, cognitive, self managing and academic skills of students who participate and do not participate in co curriculum, based on the teachers' perceptions. Further the direction of relationship of various factors on the efficiency is analysed.

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK The theoretical framework is present in Chart 1 which shows the independent and the dependent variables. There are eight independent variables which include communication competency, cognitive skills, managing self and academic competency. Demographic variables include types of school, respondents' gender, respondents' experience and types of activities participated by respondents. Efficiency of students is the dependent variable. From teachers' perception, students who have communication competency, cognitive skills, managing self competency and academic competency are efficient students. These competencies are tested on students who participate in co-curricular activities in school. Furthermore, the efficiency of these students is tested to observe their dependency on demographic variables.

1. Competency in Communication 2. Cognitive Competency 3. Self Managing Competency 4. Academic Competency 5. Types of Schools 6. Respondents Gender 7. Respondents Experience 8. Types of Activities

Theoretical Framework For the purpose of this study, the word competent will include general competency that ought to be possessed by the school children in relation to their involvement in the co- curricular activities. A total of four generic competencies will be included in the study. Firstly, the competency of communication skills is looked into, as communication skill is the key to successful implementation of order and policies. Knowledge gained but not communicated to others is of no use to society. Communication is the main basic mode of interaction from the time of civilisation. Thus, the importance of communication skills is the most required element and undeniably, competency in language especially English would be of utmost importance in order to communicate particularly to the world outside. The other element of competency considered in this study is cognitive competence, which includes the skills of thinking analytically of making decision and of acquiring knowledge. It would include communication with a variety of individuals and conducting group activities, which will retain interpersonal relationship.

Managing self would be accounted for wherein it would show the ability to take responsibility for one's own performance. On a broader base it would include the development and applications of one's own skills and competency. The skills set for this competency would include gaining knowledge from every day situation, identifying priorities and problems and solving them. Finally, the element considered would be the skills of academic competency wherein a minimum level of competency in numeric skill is essential to build higher levels of academic and economic concern. Students should be competent in dealing with numerical operations. Last but not least the term co-curriculum includes all activities in and out of classroom. Cocurriculum is also an activity that gives ample opportunity to teach new skills in depth (Hui, 1983)

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY Survey based methodology was used in this research to obtain data from the respondents. The data was collected through a self administered questionnaire by the researchers. The questionnaire for this study consists of two parts. The first part, which is section A of the questionnaire, comprises four items that covers the background information of the respondents. In section A, nominal scale is used to gather the background information. This includes the numbering of the type of school, gender, experience and stating the name of societies, club and uniform bodies. The second part of the questionnaire, section B, consists of twenty two items of competency statements. The competencies included are communication competency, cognitive competency, self managing competency, and academic competency. The above competencies are the independent variables in this study. It is then followed by the dependent variable which is the students' efficiency. All items in this section use a five point Likert scale. Teachers are the sample units of this study. These teachers are all involved in academic and cocurricular activities. Furthermore, the sample is of teachers who interact with the students at all times. This study is confined to five schools in the Petaling District. Therefore, the findings or in other words the result of this study is restricted to 252 samples that are selected on random basis from these schools. A total of 252 questionnaires were returned, which represents 64.2 %. The data is gathered from the teachers who are given the questionnaire to answer only once. Therefore this study is in the line with the cross sectional method of collecting data.

HYPOTHESES The following hypotheses were tested: H1: The efficiency of students who participate in co-curricular activities is significantly more than those who do not participate in co-curricular activities. H2: Students' participation in co-curricular activities has significant positive effect on their competency in communication. H3: Students' participation in co-curricular activities has significant positive effect on their competency in cognitive skills. H4: Students' participation in co-curricular activities has significant positive effect on their competency in managing self. H5: Students' participation in co-curricular activities has significant positive effect on their competency in academic. H6: The efficiency of students depends on the school. H7: The efficiency of students depends on the teachers' gender. H8: The efficiency of students depends on the teachers' experience.

CONCLUSION The statistical analysis have corroborated the evidence that students who participate in the cocurriculum activities have shown a significant positive correlation with the four competencies tested which includes communication, cognitive, managing self and academic competency as has been proven by many other researchers. Henceforth, in can be safely concluded from the study that students' involvement in co-curricular activities enhances their competencies in the four areas tested, thus causing the objective of this study to be achieved. Hence, significant steps must be taken to assure that every student participates actively in co-curricular activities, which are headed by teachers who are knowledgeable about that particular activity. The Parents Teachers' Association (PTAs) could certainly help in this noble cause and provide undivided assistance. The school plays a key role here as the heads are able to control and monitor both students' and teachers' participation. In this fast changing world our nation needs able citizens, dynamic and excellent leaders. The school bench is where the moulding should begin, and thus the importance of students' participation in co-curriculum activities, which has proven to churn out better and successful students, as leaders and responsible citizens of tomorrow. As if to seal this, the government has now embarked on the National Service Programme which if viewed wholly would bring one to the conclusion that it is an extension of co-curricular activities in school. However, in order for students to participate successfully in this newly imposed programme, it is now even more important for schools to emphasize and encourage students' participation in cocurricular activities as it would be a sure way of ensuring better participation in the National Service Programme: a programmed based on the aim of churning out responsible, good and capable citizens for our nation.