More than 700 students aged between six and 18 were quizzed on this topic in a survey by Tuen Mun Town Plaza and the Hong Kong Institute of Family Education.
About 85 per cent of the students said they began interest classes after Primary Three. Only 14 per cent enjoyed the classes, while 60 per cent said they have no interest in them and would rather spend the time relaxing.
Christopher Yu Wing-fai, director of the institute, says parents often enrol their children in a range of classes to make them more well-rounded. They hope this will improve their chances of getting into a better school or university.
"From the survey, you can see that 96 per cent of the students attend no less than three classes a week. But a staggering 85 per cent say they do not enjoy it," Yu says.
"Parents are trying to help their children by taking them to interest classes. But they also need to respect the children's choices; otherwise, they are wasting time and effort."
Yu says youngsters need a good balance between study and relaxation. "The children of this generation are able to enjoy material life but they lack time to unwind. It is the nature of children to play; parents should be aware of that," he says.