ZHONGHUA SECONDARY 1 CCA OPEN HOUSE 2016 9 JANUARY 2016
A nervous student entered the canteen while clutching on to her stamp sheet and CCA registration form. Right in front of her, she could see the colourful array of trophies and photos placed on display, the hustle and bustle of students mingling, and the blaring of music intertwined with shouting of drill commands. Before she was given time to absorb the atmosphere, a tall youth, fully clad in a stark white, neatly pressed uniform and a cheery grin, eagerly approached her, and passed her a colourful flyer. “Hello! Would you like to know more about our CCA?”
That’s right, folks, once again, Zhonghua was holding its annual CCA open house! The atmosphere in the air was painted with a sense of exhilaration and zest, as students from various CCAs competed to win the attention and interest of students and parents with unique skill sets.
For starters, there were splendid showcases by Zhonghua’s very own performing groups - Chinese Orchestra, Choir, Guzheng, Symphonic Band, Chinese Society, ELDDS and Dance. Every PAG put on performances unique to their CCA in their eager bid to win the attention of the new batch of students.
At 9.20 in the morning, the students were gathered around the parade square to witness the Foot drill showcase by the uniformed groups of Zhonghua. There was the National Cadet Corp with their rhythmic showcase, almost like a well-choreographed dance. The National Police Cadet Corp, armed with guns, earned cheers and exclamations with their showcase, followed by Girls’ Brigade. Lastly, there was the St John Brigade Singapore, displaying a traditional foot drill showcase, followed by a breath-taking stretcher performance that drew a rousing applause from the audience.
After which, students were allowed to freely roam the booths in the canteen and hall, visiting the CCA booths. CCA members also engaged in conversation with students and parents, appealing to them to visit their CCA booth.
In a matter of seconds, the tranquil, vacant canteen was brimming with students and their tag-along parents. CCA members strove to attract the cream of the crop among students, and one such member is Wong Wei Qi. “We are aiming for responsible youths” Wei Qi says, “youths who are willing to put in effort to learn a new skill.”
Most parents also want the best for their children, but in different aspects and different standards. “The CCA I want for my child is one that would build him a better character, better values, and possibly better health.” Ms Geraldine Lim explained. When enquired about what she wants to see in her child after a year of CCA, she answered that the ideal CCA should mould someone into a person who is more aware of their surroundings, more responsible, and should cover a “comprehensive learning range”. Another parent also claimed that a CCA should “cultivate discipline and character in students”, and “develop students into independent teenagers”
Parents are not the only ones who want a better CCA for students. “I want my students to be trained to be disciplined and have values. CCAs should build up potential for students, and for them to have opportunities at leadership positions.” Ms Yeo, a geography teacher, explains. “Students should also be serious in CCA and school, and to be able to translate what they learnt in CCA into school
Then, the question is, which CCA? The current general idea from parents is for their children to have values, but what about students? As a student, I just wanted a CCA that was fun and interesting, but that is not the case with anyone anymore. “A year ago, I wanted to join a CCA that provided an extensive learning programme, so I can learn new skills.” Chan Wei Lun from St John Ambulance Brigade describes his choice when he was Secondary One as a hard decision, as every CCA offered its own range of skills, that were unique and signature.
CCA choices are not one to be selected with slipshod reasons and methods, as it is a family that will stick with you for most of your secondary school life.
The girl, nervous no more, walked out of the canteen with a confident grin. Of all the sights she had seen and voices she heard, she knew where her interest lay. She has made her decision, have you?
Voo Hong Yi
Sec 3E3 2016