Pupils polled on three top changes for happier school life

In a poll, youngsters call for more events outside class, less homework and more teacher praise

PUBLISHED : Monday, 21 January, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 28 October, 2016, 9:07am

More school outings, more encouragement from teachers and less homework would make pupils happier, a survey by members of the Boys and Girls Clubs Association has found.

A total of 513 pupils from Primary Four up to Form Three were asked to rank a list of what schools could do to make their time in school more pleasant.

The survey found that 70 per cent of respondents wanted schools to organise more outings or field trips, instead of only conducting "boring" lessons in class. Ideally, they said, there should be one or two trips each month.

Fifty-eight per cent wanted teachers to give more positive comments and guidance notes when returning test papers.

Teachers only put a score on the paper, and usually do not make comments.

Simple notes, they said, like "Keep up", "Be more careful next time", would be very encouraging, they said.

Half of the respondents wanted one tutorial class each day in which they could ask teachers questions while doing their schoolwork.

The pupils suggested trimming five minutes off every regular class to make time for a 30-minute tutorial class.

The survey was part of the association's junior chief executive project, which aims to encourage young people to take a personal interest in current affairs.

In this year's project, 30 "junior chief executives" are working on a junior policy address and will ask classmates and adults what they think should be priority issues.

The survey on improving school life was conducted between November 17 and December 12 last year.

There were two other related polls on school safety and steps that could be taken to foster a stronger sense of inclusion within the school environment.

The 1,214 pupils asked about school safety said their top concern was requiring all school buses be fitted with seat belts.

The Transport Department does not require seat belts on vehicles that carry students.

Separately, on inclusion, 60 per cent of 763 pupils polled said organising more lunches with teachers would improve relations.

At an event announcing the survey results yesterday, Chan Yuen-han, a lawmaker from the Federation of Trade Unions, said she was impressed by the hard work of the "junior chief executives" and promised to raise their concerns with lawmakers at Legislative Council meetings.

Chan said: "Sometimes we adults overlook children's needs in social affairs. I believe government officials should listen to children's views as well."