Extracurricular Programs in East Asian Schools
by Harold W. Stevenson - 1994
Describes the school-based extracurricular programs in several societies in East Asia, suggesting that Americans use such information to develop more effective extracurricular programs. In those countries, schools are responsible for developing and conducting extracurricular programs, which they consider important for keeping students productively occupied after school hours. (Source: ERIC)
In December 1992, the Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development released A Matter of Time, a discussion of the need for expanding after- school programs for the nation's young adolescents. As a result of changes in the American family structure, the economy, and school programs, American adolescents have much more free time than did earlier generations of Americans. Much of this time, the Council's Task Force on Youth Development and Community Programs concluded, is "unstructured, unsupervised, and unproductive." In their report, the task force presents its recommendations about how this time could be used to promote healthy growth and development.(n1)
What the task force describes as a national problem applies not only to children and youth of all ages, but also to their peers in other cultures. Ordinary daily activities, such as attending school, working in outside jobs, and doing chores and homework, leave children and youth in industrialized nations with a great deal of discretionary time. We in the United States have been slow in responding to the increasing need for productive use of this time. Organizations such as Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts seek to meet this need but our efforts are modest compared with those in many societies, such as those of East Asia, which have well-developed after-school programs. Community-based programs exist in East Asia, but extracurricular programs typically take place at school after or even during regular school hours. In fact, the frequently quoted longer school day of Chinese and Japanese students compared with that of American students is partly due to students' participation in these programs, rather than to longer hours of academic classes.
The purpose of this report is to describe the school-based extracurricular programs that exist in several societies in East Asia: Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, China, and Japan. Information about these programs may offer us clues about ways in which we can develop more effective extracurricular programs in the United States.
The information was obtained from October through December 1992, primarily from three sources: government publications, interviews with education officials, and discussions with principals and teachers in elementary, junior, and senior high schools.
The purposes of the programs are quite diverse. Some programs, developed in response to student unrest, seek mainly to keep students occupied with interesting activities after the regular school day and during vacations. Some primarily promote health and leisure-time interests. Others supplement the academic content of the regular curriculum, giving students the opportunity, for example, to learn computer programming, a type of training that is unavailable in the intensive regular curriculum. Some programs offer lessons at school that would be considered private lessons in other societies, such as martial arts, music, and English conversation. Still others teach students skills and knowledge about their culture that are not part of the regular curriculum, such as calligraphy, use of the abacus, flower arrangement, and the tea ceremony. In some cases the extracurricular activities turn out to be devoted to service, such as cleaning the school or a nearby post office, rather than to the students' self-improvement. Some extracurricular activities seek to prepare students for participation in adult organizations, such as the armed forces or a political party. Finally, there is a strong emphasis in all of the programs on team sports and athletics.
The degree to which students can choose whether to participate in extracurricular activities also varies. In some programs the decision rests with the student. Alternatively, students may be required to participate in at least one activity and then are free to choose whether they wish to participate in others.
Participation also varies according to the students' ages; students are less likely to take part in extracurricular activities during the early elementary school years than in high school. Moreover, in societies where students must pass entrance examinations for high school and college, participation in extracurricular activities declines greatly during the year in which the examinations are given.
Elementary school students in Hong Kong attend either a morning or an afternoon session. This means that they are potentially free for half of every day. These children, living in an area with one of the highest population densities in the world, have little space for play or outdoor activities. They are confined to high-rise apartment houses, to their schools, and to the streets; thus, keeping children occupied poses a significant problem. There has been strong parental pressure on teachers to assign lots of homework. Even with the demanding schedule of two or three hours of homework each weekday and five or six hours on the weekend, children still have abundant free time. It seemed imperative, therefore, that schools offer extracurricular activities to fill the students' out-of-school hours.
An even stronger impetus for the development of extracurricular activities occurred during the 1960s when there was a great deal of unrest among secondary school students over such matters as raising the fare on the Hong Kong ferries. Authorities decided that much of the unrest was due to students' having too little to do, especially during the summer. In 1967 they began summer programs and during the 1970s and 1980s they introduced programs during the regular school year. The expansion of the programs was greatly aided by two factors: Beginning in 1975 every government-supported elementary school was required to designate a specific teacher to be in charge of extracurricular activities, and in 1984 a course in extracurricular activities was required in colleges of education. The course helps teachers acquire the organizational, interpersonal, and technical skills necessary for leading successful programs.
An independent committee, representing education, social welfare, social services, and the Jockey Club (the sponsor of the races from which supportive funds are derived), governs extracurricular activities. The programs are better developed in secondary than in primary schools, and the programs differ among the schools.
Extracurricular activities are taught by the regular teachers at the school. The student/teacher ratio varies greatly among different activities. For example, two teachers may be in charge of sports groups that typically consist of around twenty students, but three or four teachers may be assigned to an academic activity involving up to seventy students. Not all programs are free. For example, most clubs charge a fee of around $1.00 to $2.00 a year; music classes are more expensive, but still may cost only as much as $13.00 a month.
On the average, elementary schools in Hong Kong offer around fourteen different types of activities (see Appendix A for a list of activities). Public secondary schools offer twice as many. Some activities occur several times a week; others occur once or twice a year. About half of the extracurricular activities take place in the form of contests, both with and between schools.
The most popular activities in elementary schools are ping-pony, arts and crafts, field trips, travel, and the team that is responsible for school discipline. During secondary school, physical activities are the most popular (i.e., basketball, soccer, volleyball, ping-pony); public service activities are next (i.e., Girl Scouts, library assistant, student government, student leader groups); and the least popular, but most rapidly developing, are activities dealing with academic subjects (e.g., English, Chinese, mathematics, and science).
Student participation varies greatly among different schools. Generally, around 60 percent of the students in both elementary and secondary schools participate in one or more of these activities. Students in the typical high school studied by Fung and Wang reported that they spent an average of 4.1 hours a week on extracurricular activities and engaged in an average of one and two activities.(n2)
In some schools there are fewer spaces than students who wish to participate in extracurricular activities. Students in these schools must apply and are either enrolled on the basis of the time of their application or are selected by teachers on the basis of their performance. In other schools, participation is always determined by the students' performance; in still others, students are required to participate in at least one extracurricular activity.
Scheduling extracurricular activities for most elementary schools is often quite difficult because of the half-day schedule. Schools solve this problem by offering the activities before or after the students' regular classes. Morning students stay after school and afternoon students come early. Saturday classes are also popular.
A major impediment in many schools is the lack of physical space and facilities in which to conduct the activities. Lack of qualified and motivated teachers, scarcity of funds, and the unwillingness of many students to participate in the organization of extracurricular activities pose additional problems.
A column about extracurricular activities appeared in the October 19, 1992, issue of The Straits Times under the headline, "Heat's on for the hol's." The columnist wrote:
The December vacation is the time when rigorous training programs hone students for next year's national school championships. It is the June vacation that is earmarked for intensive five-day training camps for the school's swimmers and athletes, who need the training track and pool not available at the schools' premises. Some schools train for the Singapore Youth Festival in July. These schools overturn the image of holidays as time for leisurely, lazy days. The holidays are a race to glory.(n3)
The glory is often realized through competitive sports, but there is strong emphasis on mass participation. The Singapore Youth Festival, an annual event in the school calendar, offers students opportunities to demonstrate their talents and skills in art, music, and dance, as well as in sports. The festival lasts for an entire month and covers all extracurricular activities.
Singapore, a city-state with few natural resources, gives great emphasis to the training of its children. "People are our only natural resource," said one education official. "We need to nurture our children and to try not to waste this resource. We must seek to maximize their potential, for we need the contributions of every individual in our society." One important avenue for doing this is by supplementing regular school classes with extracurricular activities. The goal of extracurricular activities, according to the Ministry of Education, is to "provide healthy recreational activities for all pupils, teach a variety of sports and leisure time skills, cultivate correct values, and instill desirable social attitudes."(n4) Extracurricular activities are regarded as an especially effective way of establishing teamwork and camaraderie among the diverse ethnic groups--Malays, Indians, and Chinese--who] live in Singapore.
Participation in extracurricular activities during elementary school is optional, but from the fourth grade students are encouraged to participate in at least one activity.(n5) Programs differ among schools, but the general rate of participation is somewhat over 60 percent. All extracurricular activities are free, except in the rare cases where a specialist must be hired. When this is necessary, some schools charge a nominal fee.
In addition to extracurricular activities, all elementary schools in Singapore organize remedial and supplementary lessons outside of regular school hours on weekdays and Saturdays and during vacation periods. Schools also organize enrichment programs to increase opportunities for the more able students. Scheduling is a problem; elementary schools in Singapore, like those in Hong Kong, operate on a half-day schedule.
Motivation of secondary school students to participate in extracurricular activities is enhanced by the possibility of earning points that increase the student's chances of gaining admission to pre- university courses. Performance in extracurricular activities is also given recognition in the award of scholarships. Points are- given according to length of participation and for level and quality of achievement. For example, a point is added for each year of participation in a particular activity up to four or five years. Achievement points range from one point for representing the school in local competitions to five points for representing Singapore schools in international competitions. Bonus points can also be earned through service activities. To discourage students from becoming involved in too many activities, the points for length of participation and achievement points can be counted in only one activity.
Extracurricular activities are classified under three core groups: sports, uniformed organizations (such as Girl Guides), and cultural societies and clubs (see Appendix B). Students in some schools are required to participate in one core activity, but they may also select a second from the school's list of optional activities. In other schools, students participate in a sport and in an activity in one of the other two groups.
Regular elementary school teachers conduct the extracurricular classes. Allowance is made for this in their teaching schedule, which normally consists of nineteen and one-half hours of regular classes and two to three hours of extracurricular activities each week. Secondary school teachers are also required to supervise extracurricular activities as part of their duties and must take on activities in which they have interest and expertise. The activities offered by a particular school depend, therefore, on the interests and qualifications of the teachers. One exception is that every secondary school must have a school band and either the National Cadet Corps or the National Police Cadet Corps, or both. Each extracurricular activity in secondary schools lasts an average of two to three hours a week for thirty weeks per year.
Over half of the secondary school students participate in sports, and over a third belong to uniformed groups and clubs and societies. About 10 percent participate in music, dance, and drama. Among the uniformed groups, the highest rate of participation is in the National Police Cadet Corps (14 percent). The computer appreciation club and the library club are the most popular among clubs and societies.
Extracurricular activities in Taiwan, like those in the other societies, are designed for several purposes. The Ministry of Education in Taiwan proposes that activities should be organized so that they (1) provide balance in moral, physical, intellectual, aesthetic, and social aspects of students' lives; (2) enrich students' knowledge about life and enhance moral practices; (3) stimulate interest in learning so that each individual will be able to develop his or her special talents; (4) provide interesting leisure time activities; and (5) enable each school to develop its own specialties and individuality by concentrating on certain extracurricular activities. In addition, secondary schools are expected to design activities that will help students develop their skills in self-expression and in group participation.
During elementary school, students are expected to enroll in at least one extracurricular activity every semester. Middle-school students, except for ninth-and twelfth-graders, are also required to enroll each semester in an extracurricular activity. Few ninth-graders or twelfth- graders participate in extracurricular activities because of their need to study for admission tests to high school or for university entrance examinations.
The Bureau of Education provides most of the funding for extracurricular activities; the amount allocated to each school is based on the number and types of activities offered. Thus, students seldom pay a fee for participation. The only exception is when the school must hire an outside expert to teach the activity. The bureau requires an evaluation of the programs at each school every year. Teachers, principals, and schools are given special awards for excellence, which results in strong motivation for developing and maintaining excellent programs.
As in all locations being discussed, Taiwan schools hold frequent within- school competitions. Students who excel in these competitions are selected to participate in citywide competitions. Continued success may result in selection as a representative to national and ultimately to international competitions.
Schools hire specialists or seek parent volunteers to conduct extracurricular activities only when their own teachers are unable to organize and lead the special activities. A student leader is also assigned to help in organizing each activity.
In general, teachers decide who will be admitted to certain extracurricular activities. Students write down their choices from a list provided by the school. Then teachers make selections on the basis of the students' abilities or needs and interests. (The extracurricular activities are listed in Appendix C.)
As in most of East Asia, schools in Taiwan are in session during the weekdays and on Saturday mornings. However, Taiwan's elementary schools do not follow an academic schedule on Saturday mornings and students do not bring their textbooks to school. This time is devoted to class meetings and extracurricular activities. Some extracurricular activities, such as sports or training for certain types of competition, may be held during weekday mornings before school (7:20 to 8:50) or in the afternoons after school (3:00 to 6:00).
For high school students, extracurricular activities are typically scheduled during the last class period on Friday afternoons. All students are required to participate in an activity during this period. Students also have the option of participating in some of the extracurricular activities from 5:00 to 6:30 P.M. during weekdays and from 1:00 to 3:00 P.M. on Saturdays. Some activities, such as art, brass band, calligraphy, choir, and orchestra, may also meet during the summer vacation.
Remedial classes for students having difficulties with their schoolwork are considered to be part of the extracurricular program. Because regular academic classes are large and instruction is typically to the whole class, few opportunities exist during regular classes to help slow learners. Remedial classes held both during the regular school term and during the summer provide an opportunity to give extra assistance to these students.
In contrast to Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan, the People's Republic of China is a huge, complex country separated into cities and countryside, coastal and inland provinces, and into many linguistic and cultural subgroups. It is daunting to attempt to describe activities that accurately characterize the whole country. The task was made even more difficult by the fact that efforts to meet with officials in the State Education Commission proved futile. It was possible, however, to talk with educators in Beijing and to visit Beijing schools during early November 1992. The following description is based on information gathered during those visits.
Chinese schools offer three types of courses: required, optional, and extracurricular. Required courses are determined by the central government and there is a national examination for each subject.(n6) Optional courses and extracurricular activities depend on the school. Nearly all elementary school students participate in at least one extracurricular activity, but participation declines during the secondary school years to approximately 40 percent.(n7) Very few students participate in extracurricular activities during their third year of lower and upper middle school, presumably because they are studying for examinations that must be taken for admission to their next level of education.
The Chinese government advocates that students develop not only academically, but also morally, aesthetically, and physically. Extracurricular activities are organized to foster the latter types of development. Extracurricular after-school activities also meet the needs of Chinese families, where both parents typically work full time. They also meet the needs of students by supplementing their knowledge in areas that are not covered in the required or optional courses. (See Appendix D for a list of extracurricular activities.) A teacher in each school is in charge of organizing and managing extracurricular activities and other teachers supervise the activities.
The goal of many extracurricular activities in China's vocational high schools is to improve vocational skills. For example, students in a vocational high school for secretaries have the opportunity to enroll in after-school programs for extra instruction and practice in areas such as typewriting, shorthand, computers, and oral English. In other vocational schools, students learn bike repair, home appliance repair, plant cultivation, and livestock rearing in extracurricular classes.
Schools offer special after-school classes for students who are having difficulty with their schoolwork. These classes are typically held on Sunday and there is a fee of approximately $4.00 per month. After-school classes are also offered for outstanding students in subjects such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and English. Students attend these special classes for up to ten hours a week while continuing their regular high school curriculum. These schools--often termed Olympic Schools--prepare highly selected students for national and international competitions. Fees are often charged for the classes.
Some extracurricular activities are arranged by the school authorities; others are organized by class committees and by committees of the Young Pioneers (elementary schools) and the Communist Youth League (secondary schools). Extracurricular activities typically occur only once a week for one or two hours, although some take place only during vacation periods. Participation differs greatly among schools. In some schools all students are required to participate in at least one extracurricular activity; in others, participation is left entirely up to the student.
Nearly all extracurricular activities are free and students generally are admitted to those in which they express an interest. However, enrollment in some activities is very limited. For example, admission to Olympic Schools is restricted to students who have demonstrated outstanding performance in one of the academic subjects. Students who seek to be members of competitive sports teams are admitted only on a teacher's recommendation of the student's outstanding accomplishments.
Participation in week-long camps held during winter and summer vacation periods is also limited. Only about 20 percent of the students qualify for participation in these camps. The purpose of the camps is to give students opportunities to travel, engage in sports, attend educational classes, and enjoy themselves.
Japanese schools offer two types of extracurricular activities: kurabu (bukatsudo), which meet during the school hours, and bu, which meet after school. Participation in kurabu is required of all elementary school students in grades four to six and of all middle-school and high school students. Participation in bu is generally optional.
Kurabu serve many purposes. The overall goals are to foster students' creativity, cooperative behavior, and self-direction. The specific goals are derived from various parts of the Japanese Constitution, edicts of the Ministry of Education, the wishes of parents and teachers, and demands of contemporary society.
In line with these directives, the specific goals of extracurricular activities are (1) to help students learn basic daily habits of hygiene and comportment, (2) to develop attitudes of living a healthy and safe life, (3) to help students identify themselves as Japanese, (4) to foster favorable interpersonal interactions, and (5) to establish a spirit of public service. Through these activities students are expected to acquire attitudes of being self-directed and spontaneous, to interact more easily with adults including their teacher, to cultivate interest in subject matters other than those taught in regular classes, and to integrate intellectual, moral, and physical aspects of development.
The kurabu typically meet thirty-five times a year for one forty-five minute period, typically the last period (2:40 to 3:40) of a-weekday. The most common types of kurabu are calligraphy, photography, music, art, tea ceremony, Japanese go, handicrafts/knitting, and flower arranging. Over half of the high schools offer these activities. The only academically oriented kurabu offered by at least half of the Japanese secondary schools is the English Club.
The kurabu differ greatly in their popularity. In one high school we visited, for example, over fifty students were enrolled in tennis, archery, brass band, photography, soccer, art, and home economics. Fewer than ten expressed an interest in judo, ping-pony, biology, ham radio, and mountain climbing.
The bu may meet one or two times a week or every day. The average meeting of bu lasts for an hour in elementary school and approximately two hours in middle school and high school. Some of the bu last until 6:00 P.M. or even later. The most frequently offered bu are the same as those listed for kurabu, except that drama and journalism are added.
The percentage of schools offering bu increases rapidly from 42 percent of elementary schools to 99 percent of middle schools and 100 percent of high schools. Nearly all middle and high schools and over a third of elementary schools offer sports activities. A high percentage also offer cultural activities (28, 68, and 98 percent, respectively) and activities that result in some type of product (10, 30, and 74 percent). (A list of activities appears in Appendix E.)
A fourth of elementary school students and three-fourths of middle- school and high school students participate in but Participation often continues during part of the summer: 45 percent in elementary school, 90 percent in middle school, and 81 percent in high school. The summer bu operate for two or three weeks.
Procedures for admission to particular kurabu and bu are similar to those used in the other East Asian societies. Students pick three of the school's list of kurabu in which they would most like to participate. The minimum enrollment in a kurabu is ten and the maximum is thirty to thirty-five students. Every student presumably has an equal chance to participate, but teachers and other students sometimes select the students. Once a student enrolls in a kurabu, he or she must continue in the kurabu throughout the year.
Even though participation in bu is not required, students in some middle schools feel obliged to participate in order to obtain a better recommendation from their teachers for admission to high school. Similarly, high school students who do not plan to enter a university may participate in bu in order to impress their potential employers with their diligence and energetic involvement. The fee for kurabu is modest: approximately $6.00 for each of two semesters.
In addition to the kurabu and bu, two other types of extracurricular activities are offered: special activities and hosshu jugyo. Schools in Japan, like schools in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, and Mainland China, organize many types of special activities that occur only once or twice during the year. Among the most common are Sports Day, arts festivals, overnight field trips, and school beautification activities. Visits to factories and offices occur during elementary school and during high school for vocational students who are seeking jobs. (A list of those commonly found in Japanese schools appears in Appendix F. For comparative purposes a list of special activities offered in Taiwan is also included.)
Hosshu jugyo are supplementary classes offered mainly in academic high schools to help students who are weak in certain subjects or who wish to raise their scores on college entrance examinations. The classes, often held before the regular morning classes begin or during vacation periods, are taught by teachers who specialize in the area being studied. Because of the low fee, approximately $4.00 for each subject, hosshu jugyo are popular among families that are unable or unwilling to pay the costs for their child to attend juku (cram schools) or yobiko (schools primarily for students who have failed college entrance examinations).
Supplementary classes are also used to increase the knowledge of students seeking admission to the university. The classes are oriented toward raising the students' scores on entrance examinations. For students seeking admission to universities by the suisen (recommendation) procedure, the close interaction with the teachers increases the likelihood that the teacher will give the student a good recommendation. Academic counseling and simulation examinations (held nearly every month) offer further help to college-bound students.
Schools in Japan, as well as those in the other East Asian societies discussed, vest a great deal of responsibility in the students themselves. This is accomplished partly through a student government that operates on both a classroom and a whole-school basis. Students elected or appointed to these positions spend large amounts of their out- of-class time on these activities. In addition, members of the safety patrol and other organizations are responsible for ensuring school safety and good comportment on the part of students.
When I started this project I assumed there would be an abundance of up- to-date government reports about the extracurricular programs offered in each country. This did not prove to be the case. The major sources of information were interim reports and interviews with educational administrators at both national and school levels. Even without formal government reports, certain patterns emerge from the information that was available.
1. Responsibility for organizing and conducting extracurricular programs lies within the school; only in rare cases does the central government introduce specific required activities. As a consequence, programs within each society are extremely diverse. Governments may specify the time when extracurricular activities can be offered, but the content of the activities is left up to the individual school.
2. Extracurricular programs help to counterbalance the more rigid national curricula. Most extracurricular activities deal with topics that lie outside the national curricula. For example, even though computers have no place in East Asian mathematics curricula, students can become proficient in computer operation and programming by attending extracurricular classes.
3. Extracurricular programs supplement what occurs during regular classes. Westerners often ask how individual differences are handled in East Asian schools, where the teaching style involves whole-class instruction, there is no tracking, and the curriculum must be adhered to by all students. One way is through after-school classes for slow and fast learners. For example, remedial classes in the basic subjects help slow learners keep up with their classmates. Similarly, extracurricular classes provide new and interesting material for students whose interests extend beyond what is offered in regular classes.
4. Extracurricular activities help to balance the strong emphasis on academic work that characterizes the regular curricula in East Asia. Schools become pleasant places for students partly because of the opportunities to participate in interesting, enjoyable extracurricular activities. Thus, despite the strong demands to study hard, East Asian students say they enjoy being at school.
5. Participation is open to all students. In sports programs, for example, membership on a sports team is not limited to students who are particularly motivated to become athletes. Most students in every classroom participate in inter-classroom competitions. Sports teams that represent the school in inter-school competitions are selected on the basis of the students' performance in the inter-class contests. Athletics is not the only area in which there are competitions. Students have the opportunity to participate in competitive activities ranging from calligraphy and poetry reading to classroom decoration. Motivation for participating in extracurricular activities appears to be enhanced, especially during the school years, by the possibility of such competitions.
6. A family's financial status does not limit students' participation. Students have the opportunity to participate in activities in which they are interested without relying on their parents for money or for transportation to lessons outside of school. In general, extracurricular activities are offered for a minimal fee or are free. For example, whereas private lessons in piano or acrobatics may be beyond the financial resources of some families, the opportunity to participate in these activities at school with other students makes such lessons feasible.
7. Extracurricular programs are viewed as being important for the socialization of students. They offer students time to interact with each other outside of the classroom and to learn effective techniques for getting along with each other. The service component of the programs helps students understand how they can play an important role in school and community affairs.
8. The operation of extracurricular activities is often difficult because of the diverse offerings and because of limits in space, equipment, time, and personnel. To help alleviate these problems, most schools appoint a single person to manage the programs. In order to reduce costs, nearly all activities are taught by regular teachers in each school, sometimes as part of their regular teaching load and sometimes for extra compensation.
9. Because of their combined function of providing academic classes and extracurricular activities, schools are not evaluated solely as academic institutions. The critical question is what the school is doing for its students in both academic and nonacademic activities. Similarly, teachers are notjudged only on the basis of their excellence in teaching the regular subjects, but also in how effective they are in leading extracurricular classes.
As Americans begin to think about ways in which they can keep students productively occupied during out-of-school hours, they can look to East Asia for suggestions about organization, administration, and content of extracurricular programs. It seems apparent that there are many advantages to concentrating on school-based rather than community-based extracurricular programs. Not least among these is the positive effect they have on students' attitudes about school. It is obvious, too, that school facilities are readily adapted to extracurricular programs and that the programs can be made available to large segments of the student population. We have highly successful extracurricular athletic programs; our goal now should be to expand extracurricular programs to include larger numbers of students and a wider variety of attractive, rewarding activities.
(n1) Carnegie Task Force on Youth Development and Community Programs, A Matter of Time: Risk and Opportunity in the Non-School House (Washington, D.C.: Carnegie Council on Adolescent Development, 1992), p. 1.
(n2) Y. W. Fung and N. Y. Wong, "Involvement in Extracurricular Activities as Related to Academic Performance, Personality, and Peer Acceptance," Educational Journal 19 (1991): 155-60.
(n3) "Heat's on for the Hol's," The Straits Times, October 9, 1992, p. 2.
(n4) Education in Singapore, Ministry of Education, 1986, p. 18.
(n5) Singapore offers all students six years of primary and four years of secondary education. Two to three years of pre-university courses are available to students in addition to courses in polytechnics and institutes of technical education.
(n6) The required courses in secondary schools include Chinese, English, politics, physics, chemistry, botany, political history, geography, physical education, music, and fine arts. The optional courses in one of Beijing's most outstanding schools included psychology, computers, oral English, Italian,Japanese, ecology, astronomy, fine arts, and music appreciation. Not all secondary schools offer such an outstanding array of optional courses; in fact, some schools are unable to offer any at all.
(n7) Chinese elementary schools include grades 1 through 6; lower and upper middle schools each consist of three grades. According to the State Statistical Bureau (People's Daily, 1991), nearly 98 percent of school-age children were enrolled in elementary schools in 1990, but fewer than three-fourths go to lower middle school. Of those who finish lower middle school, fewer than 40 percent are able to continue their education in upper middle school.
Appendix A. Extracurricular Activities in Hong Kong Schools
Appendix B. Extracurricular Activities in Singapore Schools
Clubs and societies
Air Rifle Club
Arts and Crafts
Buddhist Studies Society
Catholic Student Society
Chinese Cultural/Debating Society
Chinese Language Society
Civics and Welfare Club
Civil Defense Club
Computer and Mathematics Society
Computer Appreciation Club
Current Affairs Club
Economics and Commerce Club
English Language Society
First Aid Club
Home Economics Club
Indian Cultural/Debating Society
Indian Cultural Society
Indoor Games Club
Junior Flying Club
Literary and Debating Society
Magazine and Publications
Malay Cultural/Debating Society
Malay Cultural Society
Malay Language Society
Mathematics and Science Society
Physical Fitness Club
Safety First Club
Social Services Club
Social Studies Club
mixed instrument group
Sports and games
Chinese art of self-defense
cross-country running vgymnastics
mass display exercises
Tae kwon do
water polo and aquatic sports
National Cadet Corps
National Police Cadet Corps (boys)
National Police Cadet Corps
St. John's Ambulance Brigade
Appendix C. Extracurricular Activities in Taiwan Schools
Tae kwon do
Appendix D. Extracellular Activities in Mainland China Schools
Note: Complete lists were unavailable; the following are examples of the types of activities that are offered.
Appendix E. Extracurricular Activities in Japan Schools
Note: Lists of activities were unavailable from the Ministry of Education or from school authorities. The following examples are from particular schools.
Appendix F. Other Less Frequently Held Extracurricular Activities
Arts and Science Festival
cleaning of the school
emergency evacuation practice
overnight field trip
Physical Fitness Day
preservation of nature and culture
school beautification activities
service and cooperation with the
Sports Day traffic safety class
visits to factories or offices
city-countryside exchange program
field trip for the whole school
natural science contest
social science contest
Activities held once a semester
arts exhibit by teachers and students
classroom setup contest
contest for creative ideas
contest for physical exercises
dramatic interpretation marathon
field trips to art museum, science
museum, science center
language arts contest
phonetic spelling contest
selection of model students
track and field contests
Activities for elementary school students during summer vacation
arts and crafts camp
mental arithmetic camp
overnight outdoor camping