Terence Mapuka Cool Lifestyle Correspondent—
There was a time when good grades meant everything. It was enough to get you into college or university, enough to get you a good job. However good grades alone do not mean your life is set for great success.Over the years many organisations in Zimbabwe and beyond have cried foul that students are getting into the work place without the proper set of skills to succeed in the workplace.
You get a straight ‘A’s student enrolling for a Law degree and score distinction throughout.
However when it comes to the actual work on the ground, that high flyer cannot hold an argument in court and the presentation is not even convincing to the magistrate let alone the client being represented.
There are more skills you can aim to have which are beyond the classroom.
It is important to appreciate the contribution of the skills set a learner can obtain from being part of a club at school. Clubs can offer important life skills that a learner can use for the rest of his or her life.
Many learners concentrate a great deal on their studies but when they go to the clubs they do not pay attention and some even do not attend. Below are five different skills a learner can gain by being a member of a club.
Participating in club activities helps improve communication skills which can be important to your career. It is encouraged for those aspiring to be lawyers to join the debating club, it helps build on the important communication skills for such a career.
As mentioned above, so many concentrate on academics and fail to deliver when they are now lawyers. The straight ‘A’s and distinctions can hardly beat eloquence and a well presented argument.
No matter how many facts you have if you cannot present them eloquently you can lose the case. Clubs help develop writing skills, negotiating skills and other non-verbal communication skills.
You will notice that most clubs are open to everyone but the clubs that are more direct on leadership have a tendency of being selective. You have to be elected to be a leader, and also all the clubs will need leaders. This is a great opportunity to exercise and practice leadership at an early age.
When a learner is part of leadership like the prefects body or in the junior parliament, one gets opportunities to be trained and further develop more leadership skills that will not only be beneficiary at school but for the rest of their life. This gives you an advantage over some who did not participate if you can learn from it.
Clubs like Toastmasters help learners be presentable in mannerism, dressing and total presentation as a whole. It is important for one to look their best and unfortunately it is not common knowledge unless you are taught on how to look presentable. You will see that members of clubs that teach on this are more presentable, confident and tend to have more discipline.
Since the club members usually work in teams, the team work skill is developed as well. When you go to work you work as a team most of the times and this is an important skill to possess.
There are different roles in a team and the earlier you realise the role you play in a team the better it will work for you in your career and life in general. Also these clubs mix Form Ones and A’ Level students so it is an opportunity to learn from seniors and develop an ability to handle those older than you when you work together.
Some clubs also go beyond school years, this develops friendship that can last a lifetime of people who have common interest and influence each other in a positive way.
With most clubs in school, there is an opportunity to meet with important people who are not part of the school but influential people in the society.
It is easy for the interact club to invite a successful business person to address them. What you learn from them cannot be learnt in a Management of Business lesson in class.
The science or STEM club can encourage its members to be innovative and through interaction with other schools develop a creative mindset which can help them invent or create bigger and more important things in the future.
Academic achievement is the primary target of school but in today’s world it cannot be the only aim. There are many learners doing well academically, now when the college or university wants to choose between two highly academic learners, they consider some of the skills mentioned.
If you were part of a club then you have an advantage. Others ask you to write a motivational letter if looking for a scholarship. When you include your extra-curricular activities from the club you were part of, it increases your chances of success.
There are so many ways that clubs can help build a learner into a well-equipped citizen contributing significantly to the production of a nation. At least be part of one club.
TEENS an organisation which deals with teens and issues affecting them. You can reach Terence on 0772101601, WhatsApp 0772128170, [email protected] or visit their website www.zwteens.com.