Sun, 22 Sep, 2019

ECA Disaster

By Bidish Acharya

I barely reach a double figure when I go on to count the number of educational institutions in Nepal that encourage their students to get involved in extracurricular activities. Of course, there are a lot of institutions that claim to provide their students with ECA exposure, but just letting a handful of students in and not encouraging others to participate does not count as one. The typical Nepali way of teaching suggests that students have to be put behind bars with only course materials in reach, and with no exposure to activities that do not fall within the scope of curriculum. The way I see it, this is a disaster. I was brought up in such typical school and college, however, now I am involved in quite a lot of club activities at DWIT. I realize how much I could’ve learnt by now, had I been to some ECA-encouraging school. From what I’ve experienced so far, ECA has a lot of benefits; it makes you able to voice your opinions, it makes you capable of working in a team; all in all, it teaches you professionalism. These are the lessons everybody needs to learn and there is no other best time to learn these than as a student. This disastrous system of teaching is also backed by the Nepalese society. Nobody cares about what different things a person is doing, as long as s/he has good grades. A person who can write heart-touching poems or is able to paint really well or can sing well enough to raise goosebumps, are still judged by the grades they acquire. Talent is determined by the score a person gets. Also in most families, when children are reading a novel or playing piano or doing things that interests them, parents scold them with a typical, “Go and study instead; It will get you marks.”  I have to be blunt; there is very little respect for extracurricular activities in Nepal. Extracurricular activities are generally appealing to the students, and by being involved in them, one can possess great traits. DWIT, of all the colleges in Nepal, is probably the only college to blend international teaching system and that of Nepalese, as it provides a good deal of platforms for students to nurture their talents. However, I can see that most of the students have yet not recognized the value of those activities. My guess is that, they are already too obsessed with their studies and do not want to take up further obligations. I do realize that college life is always loaded with work. All the assignments, projects, exams, etc… occupy most of the time of a student. However, I believe that managing at least 2 hours a week to do something that you want and which will help you possess some valuable qualities, is not a big deal. Further, with added responsibilities, it will make you able to handle them quite well. Having said all this, it must be quite clear that extracurricular activities (along with academics) are really important to every student. Educational policy of Nepal should encourage all the educational institutions to revise their way of teaching, helping the students to participate in extracurricular activities. This might just be of great help to the students, and ultimately, the whole country.