Work and pleasure: Where to draw the line for UAE students

Work and pleasure: Where to draw the line for UAE students

There is no doubt these exploration activities can enhance life experiences, but it is imperative to ensure that children aren't run ragged.



By Kelly Clarke

Published: Sun 6 Nov 2016, 10:00 PM

Last updated: Mon 7 Nov 2016, 12:35 AM

In a society based on striving for the best, extracurricular activities are becoming part and parcel of every school student's life.
There is no doubt these exploration activities can enhance life experiences, but it is imperative to ensure that children aren't run ragged.
Structure works well for kids, but unstructured time nourishes a child's well-being, too.
When examinations are looming, time becomes a premium. So for students trying to juggle work and pleasure, stress can easily build.
It is important to know how much is too much - and that includes parents, too.
Balance is the key
Paediatric research shows that children need time to play and bond with parents, with problem-solving and social skills being learned through time spent with friends simply 'playing'.
The Head of Physical Education at Jumeriah College, Dubai, Matthew Dooling, believes that getting the balance right is crucial.
"We try to create an inclusive extracurricular sports programme that lies alongside students' academic studies, giving them a wide range of options before during and after school, so that students can opt into their sessions accordingly."
Although Dooling said academic studies should take precedence, it is important not to eliminate all commitment to extracurricular activities."
For former Gems Modern Academy student, Akshatha Achar, she was faced with immense pressure in Grade 12 while trying to balance academics and additional activities, all while applying to university.
"I took up the lead role in the musical Shakuntala at my school and initially it was a huge hurdle to overcome."
That was because the university she set her sights on demanded a stellar performance in academics.
As distressing as it was, Achar eventually made the decision to put her exams first and forgo her passion for music. But after a counselling session with her teachers, she was able to pursue both.
Through her experience, Achar testified that although extracurricular activities do not often turn into lifelong careers, it is essential for kids take a break instead of studying 24/7.
kelly@khaleejtimes.com


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