Student survey 2022: The main reason for engaging in a leisure activity is that it is fun and brings joy.
More than 164,000 primary and lower secondary schoolchildren from 1,500 schools took part in the Ministry of Education and Culture’s national student survey. They were asked what extra-curricular activities they would like to try out and what their main reasons for engaging in leisure activities were. More children and young people (85%) now have a meaningful leisure activity than was the case in the 2020 survey. The main reason for engaging in such an activity is that it is fun and brings joy. The student survey is part of the implementation of the Finnish model for leisure activities and hobbies. This was the fifth time that the survey was organised.
The most popular leisure activities for girls were horse riding, animal clubs, visual arts, cooking and climbing, whereas boys listed football, parkour, computer games, pool/snooker and hunting and fishing as their favourites. Activities that were at the top of the list for both boys and girls in lower secondary school included fitness and snowboarding/skiing.
Schoolchildren listed both their favourite leisure activities and the most meaningful activities to try out from a range of 81 leisure activities. Primary school girls listed riding, animal clubs, visual arts, cooking and climbing as their favourites. Circus activities were also high on the list. Girls said they would like to try out visual arts, films and art clubs. The most popular leisure activities among boys in primary school included football, parkour and computer games, followed by hunting/fishing, ice hockey and mopeds. Boys were particularly interested in trying out parkour.
Both girls and boys in lower secondary school were interested in fitness and snowboarding/skiing. Volleyball and playing a musical instrument were high on the girls’ list of favourites, while boys mentioned snooker, hunting and fishing among their favourites. Girls expressed interest in trying out visual arts, design and arts club activities. Boys, instead, were interested in trying out parkour, history and basketball.
Schoolchildren interested in trying 10 different extra-curricular activities
One in five students lacked a meaningful leisure activity in 2020, whereas in 2022 only one in six schoolchildren did not have one. Most of those who did not have a leisure activity (58%) wished to find one. Of all respondents, 51% would like to engage in a new activity.
The main reason for children and young people to take part in an extra-curricular activity was that it is fun or brings them joy (42% of the respondents). The second most important reason was that they could make progress in such activities and learn new skills. Schoolchildren were interested in trying out on average 10 different leisure activities.
- Two key messages can be identified in the survey responses: leisure activities should make schoolchildren feel good and they are interested in trying out many different activities and starting a new leisure activity. Our response to both points is to use the Finnish model for leisure activities to invest in the competence of instructors and to offer a wide range of extra-curricular activities as part of the school day,” says Minister of Science and Culture Petri Honkonen.
The results of the student survey will be used in the implementation of the Finnish model for leisure activities. The Ministry of Education and Culture supports the organisation of extra-curricular activities in connection with the school day in school premises or other facilities, such as sports halls or museums. Schools are expected to select the leisure activities based on their schoolchildren’s wishes. Over 90% of municipalities in continental Finland already use the Finnish model for leisure activities.
Results of student survey of the Ministry of Education and Culture (in Finnish)
Inquiries: Iina Berden, Ministerial Adviser, Ministry of Education and Culture, tel. + 358 295 330 069
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