Personally, I am a big proponent of students being active or in fact hyper active in co-curricular activities. In my personal opinion, there is a lot of value to gain from being active in such activities.
A lot of soft skills would be able to be obtained through such involvements. You would be mingling with others (outside of classroom setting), so you get some interactions. There will be some skill sets learning as well, depending on type of clubs/societies etc.
For those uniformed bodies, discipline is learned in the process too. Learn how to obey to the command of the leaders and carry out instructions. Those are very crucial. Punctuality and respect for others' opinion would be learned in the process too.
And for those who have the opportunity to serve as leaders in the clubs/societies/uniformed bodies, you get a chance to lead a group, be it big or small, and it is a good step ahead to learn your management skills, leadership skills, time management, ability to handle stress/risk, decision making, task delegation, carrying out meetings etc.
During school/college/university time, you can afford to make mistakes and learn from it. So, the co-curricular activities that you get involved would be good training ground for you to learn and practice. Practice does make one to be more perfect in doing things.
You would also learn the service culture, especially if you are involved in those groups that would do community service and helping out the needies through activities, projects, fund raising etc.
With such amount of benefits of co-curricular activities, I would really encourage everyone to be really involved in it.
And if you observe, I didn't mention anything on the certificate. I really don't think students should participate in co-curricular activities, because they would get the certificate. To me, that's not the right reason. One should be involved in the process and learn from the process.
What do you all think? Feel