For my daughter, that is. After 7 long exhilirating days of orientation fun, ice-breakers, games, getting to know one another, performances and learning of the school's history, they finally settle down to work.
In my time, there was no such thing as orientation in secondary school. It was straight to work. I guess now with the thru' train programme, where they skip the 'O' Levels and go straight to the 'A" levels, they can afford more time for them to learn about the schools history and culture before they get down to the real stuff.
Even CCA (co-curricular activities) is a big thing. They have had as many as 5 talks by the teacher in charge of CCA briefing them on the need to have a CCA, and how to go about choosing one. Nowadays, for most CCAs you have to even go for selection trials before you are accepted, and for most sports, you have to be pretty good (read: able to represent the school) at it before they will even consider you.
In my time, we joined CCA to learn to play a sport. I remember I learnt to swim in school, and even for all the other CCAs. I was a member of the school's Literary, Drama and Debating society, and we learned the ropes thru the years on how to act, debate and even write scripts and produce newsletters. We went to school to learn all these stuff. Now for their selection trials, they are required to bring along pieces of their "work" for evaluation. And unless you are already good at it, it is likely you will not be selected.
It looks like over the years schooling has changed. Now it seems like you no longer go to school to learn. You have to demonstrate what you already know to them. So who does the teaching? The parents and the enrichment centres (if you can afford it), I guess! Hence the stress on the parents!! So looks like, I better move that butt and get to work!!