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Thursday, January 11, 2018



What Parents Should Know About Compulsory Extra Co-curricular Activities In Primary School

One of the things that we were not prepared for when our kids were in primary school were the compulsory extra co-curricular activities.

We did a lot of research on school and starting school but this aspect totally slipped our minds, possibly because we were so focused on getting things right for starting school. So when the time came for us to select co-curricular activities, we were totally lost.

Although we overlooked it, with hindsight we realize that the selection of extra co-curricular activities, buying of co-curricular activities uniforms as well as the rescheduling of your own home activities so that they don't clash with the school ones is a bit task. Older children from Std 4-6 may also have extra after school classes to attend so you have to do quite a bit of juggling of your time and transport arrangements.

Optional Paying Co-curricular Activities 

In primary school, especially SJKC, you may find yourself having to make a decision on the extra co-curricular activities very early on in their schooling  years. This is because SJKC offers a lot of paying extra co-curricular activities that may be outsourced to third parties but conducted at the school. These activities are offered to kids from as young as P1.

As soon as your child starts P1, you will start receiving many forms for various activities. You will be spoilt for choice because there are so many to choose from. There is no wrong or right. Some parents may feel that it is not necessary to rush into activities. Rest and a period of adjustment is more important to them.

On the other hand, there may be some kids who enjoy these activities and parents find it convenient and cheaper to let them join these activities. All you need to do is pick them up later or send them earlier whichever the case may be instead of ferrying them from one place to another.

At other times, it is for logistics reasons. For example, there may be an older sibling in school, so the younger one may join an activity so that they can both go home at the same time.

Compulsory Free Extra Co-curricular Activities 

Usually compulsory extra co-curricular activities or Koko (in short for the word Kokurikulum in Bahasa Malaysia) takes place in upper primary school starting from Std 4 or Std 3 in some schools. Here are some things you should know about compulsory extra co-curricular activities:

  • Your child will have to take part in 3 co-curricular activities including  (i) uniform unit (badan beruniform), (ii) club or society (Kelab/Persatuan) and (iii) sports and games (Sukan/Permainan). They must choose one from each category
  • Usually forms will be handed out for the children to complete by selecting activities of their choice or preference (they may return home and ask you to sign the form for returning to the school in a few short days so be prepared especially parents with kids moving on to upper primary when it becomes compulsory)
  • Your child may be asked to fill in a few choices but at the end of the day, he or she may not get their choice of activity as it may be subject to availability 
  • Activities may be carried out once or twice a week (usually Wednesdays), or a weekday and a Saturday. (so be aware that you may have some rescheduling to do if your child has home tuition or ballet or piano lessons outside of school)
  • Students are required to wear co-curricular uniform to school (either half-U or full uniform) on Wednesdays or koko days
  • Some schools conduct their activities on alternate weekdays eg. Sports one week and uniform unit on the subsequent week and so on
  • Selection and allocation of activities is usually done during the first school term in a year
  • If your paying activity clashes with the compulsory one, you still have to mark your attendance for the compulsory one before going for your paid activity
Note that the above are generalized and there may be some differences for different schools.

Uniform Unit

Examples of uniform unit (in Bahasa Malaysia as it is normally referred to in school) include
  • Pandu Puteri
  • Pengakap
  • Persatuan Bulan Sabit Merah (PBSM)
Club or Society

Examples of club or society (in Bahasa Malaysia) include
  • Persatuan Bahasa Inggeris
  • Persatuan Sains
  • Persatuan Matematik
  • Kelab Seni Kreatif
  • Kelab Muzik
Sports

Sports of course refers to various sports and games including badminton, ping pong, chess, hockey, basketball etc.

All of the above activities are offered free in schools. Paying activities are optional and may supplement the free activities.

The slide below is from some years ago and is meant for teachers. However, it does give some idea of how the compulsory extra co-curricular activities in schools are carried out with more examples of the 3 compulsory categories of activities.



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