A drop in Hong Kong children's happiness in 2014 has been recorded across all school grades and age groups, according to a survey released last Friday by Lingnan University's Centre for Public Policy Studies.
The centre invited 10 primary schools and 10 secondary schools during September and November to fill out the survey and received results from 1,182 Primary Four to Secondary Three students and 1,763 parents.
The 2014 overall Children's Happiness Index dropped from 7.23 in 2013 to 6.74 last year (on a scale of 0 to 10), even though pressure from both schoolwork and extracurricular activities had declined.
"What is behind the decline in Children's Happiness Index is unclear, but this may be related to the Occupy Movement and the political controversies arising from it," said Professor Ho Lok-sang, director of the centre, adding that he raised this possibility after excluding all other possible relevant elements.
Life education, a student-orientated programme that emphasises respect for life, is believed to have a positive effect on children's happiness, as nearly 70 per cent of the children agree or very much agree that life education makes them happy.
The survey confirmed that happy schooling is associated with having good teachers and good classmates, though the classmates factor appears to be more important.