Role of Co-curricular Activities in Students’ Social Development

Anthony M. Wanjohi:

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 (Rashid & Sasidhar, 2005). This paper briefly examines the role of co-curriculum activities towards students’ social development.


A study by Omoke (2009) examined the role of co-curricular activities in social and academic development among students in Suneka division of Kisii South District in Kenya. 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.


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.


Given the critical role that co-curriculum activities play among learners, parents, teachers, school administrators and educational planners and policy makers are encouraged to work together towards formulating policy framework that lays emphasis on striking balance between intellectual and physical, social and emotional development of learners.



Omoke, J.P. (2009). The Role of Co-curricular Activities in Social and Academic Development of Students in Suneka Division of Kisii South District. Unpublished Research Project, The Catholic University of Eastern Africa.


Rashid, A. and Sasidhar, B. (2005). Teachers’ Perception on the Effectiveness of Co-curricular Activities: A Case Study of Malaysian Schools. Unitar e-journal Vol. 1, No. 1, January 2005


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.


Poon, P. & Spence, J.C. (1997). Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association Student Survey. Alberta Schools’ Athletic Association. Retrieved April 15 2009 from