Happy Schools Campaign

Happy Schools Campaign

About CHOA

The Chief Happiness Officer Association Limited (CHOA) is a non-profit organization founded in 2021 with the vision to build a platform for all stakeholders to co-create a happy and healthy environment in every organization, thus advancing corporate culture excellence in Hong Kong and the Region.


“CHO” refers to “Chief Happiness Officer”. According to the United Nations’ Annual World Happiness Rankings released in 2022, HK ranked 81st among 146 countries and cities. In such a cosmopolitan city we believe that there are ways to pursue happiness and everyone deserves a happy life.


At the CHO Association, we trust that corporations can lead the CHO movement by transforming companies’ cultures. Not only can employees deliver improved performance to their corporations through happiness-related activities, but such cultures may also spread from the workplace to the home and the community. It is going to be crucial that a whole-of-business-world effort is mobilized to advocate this change.


Happiness is the experience of joy, contentment, or positive well-being, combined with a sense that one’s life is good, meaningful, and worthwhile. The philosopher Aristotle is often quoted as having said: “Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence”. Education can enhance happiness and well-being through contributing to learners’ holistic development and indeed our schooling experience is one of the most influential factors in shaping the course of our lives. Happiness has been recognized, both in global agenda-setting as well as in countries’ development and education policies, as an important goal to be pursued.


In Hong Kong, the education system is notorious for high stress with endless homework, numerous exams and fierce competitions. According to the survey results of the WHO Health Behaviour in School-aged Children released by The Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2021, it has been found that the life satisfaction and health levels of Hong Kong schoolchildren are far below international standards. Moreover, ten percent children have reported feelings of depression in Hong Kong. It is therefore perhaps time to call for a shift from conventional philosophies of education towards new ones embracing a diversity of talents and intelligence so as to enhance the values, strengths and competencies of happiness.


Thus, Chief Happiness Officer Association is glad to launch the first phase of “Happy Schools Campaign” to promote child-friendly schools and happiness to all the stakeholders in the school community: students, teachers, school principals, school support staff and members of the general public.


A Happy School is one that promotes holistic learner development, encompassing mental, physical and psychological well-being and providing emotional support to become “a place where the child can grow”. Promoting learners’ happiness and well-being in schools does not imply that learning be made easier or require less effort, but rather, that such an approach could help fuel a genuine love of learning in and of itself.


In a Happy School, learning should be something essentially enjoyable that gives learners the self-motivation to strive for excellence. It is the key to ensuring better well-being and health, higher academic achievement as well as success in future life and work of our next generation.


With reference to the Happy Schools’ Report of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2016 and 2021, the Happy Schools Framework is based on PERMAV Theory – positive emotion, engagement, relationships, meaning, achievement and vitality. It provides a starting point as an integral reference for measuring the quality of learning in schools that looks beyond strictly academic outcomes.

The framework is divided into three categories – “People”, “Process” and “Place” in response to three main objectives:

  • What can make schools happy places?
  • What can make teaching and learning fun and enjoyable?
  • What can be done in schools to make all students feel included?
    • “People”
      • Refers to all human and social relationships among members of the school community and is considered to be particularly important within the three categories.
    • “Process”
      • Encompasses teaching and learning methodologies that can enhance students’ sense of well-being, and help them gain non-academic skills and
    • “Place”
      • Refers to contextual factors that include the physical environment and the school atmosphere.


Considering the local culture, current school situation and Hong Kong education system, this modified checklist is based on the ten selected criteria from the UNESCO Happy Schools Report. The items are listed in alphabetical order.

  • Creating a sense of “family” in the school environment
  • Encouraging parental involvement by making schools “open” to the community
  • Encouraging role play and discussion to create empathy and understanding
  • Enhancing teacher’s skills and competencies through school networks and peer support
  • Establishing a system to allow students to give feedback to teachers
  • Implementing activities with other schools in the broader community
  • Implementing school well-being programs
  • Infusing positive values, attitudes and practices
  • Introducing diverse teamwork learning activities
  • Introducing group assignments for collaborative problem-solving
  • Introducing mindfulness meditation
  • Introducing prizes and rewards through school contests
  • Observing and celebrating teachers and their contributions to schools and society
  • Organizing events to promote a sense of collective purpose in the school community
  • Prioritizing teacher personality, attitude and ethics in teacher recruitment and evaluation
  • Promoting school visions that prioritize happiness
  • Providing in-school psychologists, counselors, or school social workers
  • Providing positive feedback and public recognition
  • Reducing standardized testing and examinations
  • Seizing the potential of alternative learning approaches


Happy Schools Campaign Committee for Chief Happiness Officer Association invites 40 schools to join the 1st phase of Happy School Campaign. The invited schools will nominate 1 principal, 1 teacher and 1 parent to complete the checklist. The participants will be asked to check ONE of the following five choices:

  • Awareness Stage
  • Planning Stage
  • Preparation Stage
  • Implementation Stage
  • Accomplishment Stage

CHOA will invite the schools to provide evidence of “Accomplishment” items so as to share these best practices with the community.


Send invitation to 40 schools to join Happy Schools Campaign 202229 November 2022
Happy Schools Campaign 2022 Online Briefing8 December 2022
Deadline for Happy Schools Checklist Submission12 January 2023
Visit to 40 schools by Happy Schools Campaign 2022 Committee Members2nd & 3rd Week of February 2023
Result Announcement for Happy Schools Campaign 202223 February 2023
Happy Schools Campaign 2022 Award Presentation Ceremony20 March 2023
Happy Schools Campaign 2022 Forum for winnersApril 2023
Deadline for Best Practice Video SubmissionMay 2023
Publish Happy Schools Campaign 2022 Best Practice Booklet & Share the Best Practice VideoJune 2023