Co-curricular activity (Singapore)

The Tahan Mountain Trekking Team ( CCA in Hwa Chong Institution), on an expedition to Annapurna Base Camp, Nepal in 2000

Co-curricular activities (CCAs), previously known as Extracurricular Activities (ECA) are non-academic activities that all students, regardless of nationality, must participate in. This policy was introduced by the Ministry of Education, as a means to enhance social interaction, leadership, healthy recreation, self-discipline and self-confidence.

Through CCAs, students in their early teens are often given actual public responsibilities. Red Cross and SJAB members, for example, are often required to render first aid at public events. Most uniformed groups require precision, management and organisational skills, providing training to prepare students for the outside world.

In polytechnics and universities (tertiary education institutes), CCA records are considered by potential employers.

Structure of the CCA Programme

CCA choices vary widely from school to school, although schools at each education level are required to conform to national standards prescribed for that level.

In primary schools, CCAs are often introduced to students at Primary Three. Not all primary schools make CCA participation compulsory. In primary schools, Brownies are likened to junior Girl Guides.

In secondary schools, CCAs are treated more seriously. Students are required to pick at least one Core CCA to join at Secondary One. Belonging to a Core CCA is compulsory, and the students may choose a second CCA if they wish. At the end of the fourth/fifth year, 1 to 2 'O' Level points are removed from the examination aggregate (a lower aggregate indicates better marks). Although the marks are few, it is believed by many that they may make a difference when the students are considered for the most popular post-secondary educational institutions. For example, one minimum prerequisite for admission Raffles Institution at Year Five, via the 'O' Levels, is an already perfect score with the maximum of 4 points removed.

Structure of Typical CCAs

CCAs are held outside of curriculum hours and the activities partaken depend on the nature of CCA. For example, Uniformed groups do foot drills and team-building exercises while competitive sportsmen spend most of the time training and learning techniques from their instructors.

CCA groups typically feature an Executive Committee. In musical groups and CCAs catering to specific interests, the Executive Committee typically consists of a Chairman, Secretary and Treasurer, among other positions.

Many former students return to their alma mater after graduation to help impart what they have learned to their juniors. Some do so within a formal framework, such as those in the uniformed groups (where ex-cadets are appointed as cadet officers), or the Voluntary Adult Leader scheme (for those above age 20). Others do so on a casual basis.


Many CCA-related competitions are held in Singapore, creating a competitive environment which provide CCA groups an objective to work towards.

The Ministry of Education organises competitions for competitive sports at the zonal and national level, respectively the yearly Zonal and National Schools Competitions. MOE also organises the biennial Singapore Youth Festival (SYF) for the Aesthetics CCAs.

Inexhaustive list of CCAs

This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.

Student Associations

Sports and games

Uniformed groups

Performing Arts groups

Note that Band may either count as a uniformed group or a performing arts group.

Clubs and societies

In some schools, instead of separate clubs for Language, Debate and Drama (and even Culture), these domains are grouped under the heading of Language Debate and Drama Societies, an example of which is the English Language Drama and Debate Society (ELDDS).

External links

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