Unseen Passage: Life Beyond Academics

Academics has always been an essential part of human development. It prepares us to survive in the outside world and establish an identity of our own. However, is an individual’s development restricted to merely academics? In India, from an early age, we have been taught that education is limited to the boundaries of academics only; the idea of getting out into the field, for gaining practical experience, is always considered a hoax. This has hindered students’ development. However, the truth is that education represents a considerably broader field than we know of it. Our teaching, from the basics, has been focused on getting good grades and job offers, rather than being creative and unique.

In the 21st century, the pure academic type of education is slowly paving way for a whole new type. The paradigm shift in the whole education system is evident. People have now come to understand that education is a 360 degree activity that should focus on students’ overall development, rather than restricting him/her to the classroom.

Co-curricular activities that take place outside the classroom but reinforce or supplement classroom curriculum, in some way, have become a point of focus today. These activities help in the growth of the child, in more than one way. Participating in such activities helps youngsters grow mentally, socially, and individually. Intellectual development of a student is developed in the classroom, but for the aesthetic development, such as team-building, character-building, and physical growth, students must step out into the outside world. For instance, if a student is a part of school football team, he/she will learn team-work and coordination, in a practical manner, which cannot be taught in the class.

Similarly, in colleges and institutions, there is a need for practical exposure so that the students can experience the actual working of an industry. For example, taking a student to a manufacturing firm will give him/her the real insight and better learning of the industry. Catering to this change, most professional colleges including B-Schools have started providing practical exposure to students through regular guest lectures, industrial visits, conferences, seminars, cultural festivals, and so on. With industry visits, students are able to better identify their prospective areas of work in the overall organizational function. Moreover, they help enhance interpersonal skills and communication techniques. In addition, guest lectures are equally important for all–round development of students. It is a great way for students to gain maximum exposure, as guest speakers talk about their real-life experiences and not what is there in the text books.

Through such events, students are made to participate and coordinate different events wherein, they get to know how exactly things are managed. Classroom teaching provides the foundation, and co-curricular or extracurricular activities provide practical exposure and opportunities to implement what students learn in the classroom. This helps in developing the overall personality of the students, inculcating various soft skills in them, which otherwise are difficult to teach. Clearly, life beyond academics creates creative and empowered professionals.

Q. Based on your understanding of the above passage, answer any five of the questions given below by choosing the most appropriate option:

  1. Students’ development is hindered by
    1. limiting education to academic boundaries.
    2. getting out to the field.
    3. being creative and unique.
    4. gaining practical knowledge.
  2. The shift in the education system means
    1. to restrict to classroom activities.
    2. to focus on academic development.
    3. to ignore 360 degree activity.
    4. to focus on overall development.
  3. Co-curricular activities that take place outside the classroom do not help in
    1. teamwork and co-ordination.
    2. mental and social growth.
    3. intellectual development.
    4. character building.
  4. Guest speakers talk about
    1. all-round development.
    2. their real-life experiences.
    3. what is in text books.
    4. gaining exposure.
  5. Classroom teaching provides
    1. practical exposure.
    2. opportunities to implement what is learnt in classroom.
    3. chance to learn soft skills.
    4. the foundation.
  6. Life beyond academics facilitates
    1. organizational functions.
    2. creativity.
    3. professional fields.
    4. industrial visits.


  1. limiting education to academic boundaries.
  2. to focus on overall development.
  3. intellectual development.
  4. their real-life experiences.
  5. the foundation.
  6. creativity.

Q. Answer the following questions briefly:

  1. From earlier times what has not been the focus of education?
  2. Where should students go for aesthetic development?
  3. What kind of co-curricular activities have become points of focus today?
  4. What will give children a better insight into industry?
  5. Why are soft skills difficult to teach in the classroom?


  1. From the earlier times, the focus has not been laid on being creative and unique.
  2. The students must step out into the outside world for aesthetic and all-round development.
  3. Co-curricular activities that take place outside the classroom but reinforce or supplement classroom curriculum.
  4. Visiting industries will give a better insight into industries.
  5. Soft skills are developed only through practical exposure and opportunities to implement what they have learnt.

Q. Pick out the words/phrases from the passage which are similar in meaning to the following:

  1. untrue (Para 1)
  2. cooperative effort (Para 3)


  1. Hoax
  2. Coordination

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