KAILA - Extracurricular activities are undertaken by a number of school students in the country.
These activities are not just sporting activities, but can include a number of other academic prospects.
The subject of whether participating in extracurricular activities affects the schoolwork of a student is widely debated.
It is evident that many students use extracurricular activities as an excuse to get out of doing schoolwork.
While this is not being entertained by teachers, parents have begun to question whether or not their child's education is being put at risk.
Mrs. Eleni Kumar, of Love Seaside, Lautoka, is one such parent who questioned her son's education. According to Mrs. Kumar, her son was showing all the signs that he might quit school, as it was just "too hard".
"Vili would come home tired after soccer practice, and would shower, eat and go to sleep. The next day, it would all start again" she said. Mrs. Kumar also emphasized how important it is to be involved with the lives of one's children.
"I encouraged him to continue with school, and to my delight, he focused on his studies. He now works as an electrician."
However, there are those who believe that being involved in extracurricular activities builds both mind and body.
Kunal Singh, one of the three deputy head boys of Natabua High School, says that it is all up to students who participate in extracurricular activities to keep balance between their studies and those activities.
Singh, apart from being a deputy, was a member of the Natabua High School IQ Active team and also represented the school in the Senior Boys 4x100 meters relay team at the Coca-Cola Games in Suva."It was hard, in fact very hard trying to keep balance between the activities I participated in.
The strenuous training would tire me out, and I had to focus on my studies as well.
At the end of the day, it is all about maintaining a perfect order of balance in your life. Knowing when what is to be done is a huge factor, and it could end up making all the difference in the world" he said.
Despite all the talk about balance, students still find it difficult to cope with their studies and keeping up with the strenuous training associated with physical activities. Deepshay Singh, a soccer player at NHS, says it can be difficult."It gets very difficult trying to balance my schoolwork and training at times.
I sometimes attend class with incomplete work, which is not a good sign" he says. Similarly, Taina Rabuno, a hockey player, says it amazes her how demanding both fields is."I play hockey because I love the sport.
However it is very challenging being in Form 7 and manage all the work. It is overwhelming at times" she said
With all the debate, it is hardly surprising to see students dropping out of their extracurricular activities to focus on school or vice versa.
The pros and cons of extracurricular activities will surface in the future, and time will decide whether these activities make or break a student.