Date
26 May 2017
Schoolchildren who were given freedom to choose their own extracurricular activities scored better on a mental health index. Photo: HKEJ
Schoolchildren who were given freedom to choose their own extracurricular activities scored better on a mental health index. Photo: HKEJ

Primary students attend 5.6 hours of tutorial classes per week

Half of Hong Kong’s schoolchildren attend tutorial classes outside their school schedule, Sky Post reported Monday, citing results from a recent survey.

The survey was conducted by The Boys’ & Girls’ Clubs Association of Hong Kong (BGCA), Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union (HKPTU) and Hong Kong Institute of Education Alumni Association (HKIEdAA).

A total of 1,016 students between Primary 4 and Secondary 5 were interviewed.

Of the 340 students in the higher primary grades, about 60 percent attend tutorial classes.

That is 16.4 percentage points higher than a similar survey in 2002 found.

These students spend an average 5.6 hours a week on tutorial classes and need over two hours to finish their homework every day.

The survey also found that 60 percent of the students were happy with the freedom they enjoyed in choosing extracurricular activities.

However, the other 40 percent said their activities outside school were all decided by their parents.

The survey also revealed that 60 percent of the students scored four points or above on a mental health index.

The index, with scores between zero and 12, is linked to the students’ quality of life outside school.

The higher the score, the worse is a student’s mental well-being.

Those who are not happy with their leisure life scored between 4.9 and 5.5 points.

Those discontented with their lack of freedom to choose their own extracurricular activities scored between 6.6 and 6.7.

HKPTU director Cheung Yui-fai said only 60 percent of the students felt happy about their leisure life, meaning that many students were not in control of what they can do after school.

Chow Chiu-wo from the HKIEdAA said students should be their own bosses when it comes to choosing their leisure activities.

He worried that parents overly dominate their children’s lives, and this could lead to a mental meltdown of the kids under intense pressure.

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EL/AC/FL

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