Classroom Zen

A growing trend in international schools in Hong Kong is promoting “mindfulness” to strengthen mental health, in an effort to combat the adverse effects of the ultra-competitive environment for students in the territory.

According to Ian Clayton, head of the international stream at the French International School (FIS), a lack of proper sleep for students is a global problem and could negatively affect students’ mental and physical health. “There’s a lot happening outside schools everywhere in terms of technology, pressure and competitiveness. It seems to be harder to get into universities, and the job market is changing irrevocably.”

Some Hong Kong schools seem to be embracing this trend. “What we’re seeing in schools is an acceptance that social and emotional learning is an important part of the curriculum from day one,” says Dr. Jacqueline Wolf, a member of the child development team at Central Health Partners.

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