Decline in student and teacher numbers is an urgent issue for Hong Kong’s education system, says “Hong Kong secondary schools lose 4,500 students, 1,000 teachers in one year: survey” (South China Morning Post, 1st December).
Some of the reasons behind this include the social conditions of the city and Covid-19. But the root of the problem lies in the wider wave of emigration. It is abnormal that so many students are leaving. If this continues, it will undoubtedly affect the future development of the city. Reducing class sizes is one solution, as it will make it easier for students to learn.
Hong Kong teens discuss the responsibility and nerves of moving to Britain
Hattie Ng, King Ling College
Young Hong Kong people love to chase after stars, especially famous groups like Mirror, BTS, Blackpink and Twice. People are more likely to buy products promoted by their favorite stars. My friends love Mirror and always ask me to take pictures of their McDonald’s promotions.
Hunting for the stars helps people stay positive. Stars with a good image can be an example to others. But people can also waste time and money chasing stars – watching their new social media posts or watching their new videos.
Many young people in Hong Kong love the Mirror Boy Band. Photo: May TsÃ©
Students could be wasting their study time and money. They can also use their parents’ money to buy products for their idols, even if this is not useful to them. We shouldn’t be addicted to our idols and should be in control of ourselves.
Children need limits on play time
Lam Cheuk-yin, Tsuen Wan Public Secondary School
I write in response to “Tencent throws popular app store fish shooting games” (South China Morning Post, November 16). The Chinese government is regulating the video game industry more tightly to combat gambling addiction.
Children and adolescents spend a lot of time and money on it. It can worsen family relationships when children beg their parents to buy something in a game – they can even steal their parents’ money to get what they want. Teens can become addicted to video games if there are no limits, so these rules can correct their bad habits.
Some teens spend a lot of money on online games. Photo: Bloomberg
Focus on the big picture
Lam Yat-hang, Tsuen Wan Public Secondary School
Hong Kong’s education system has a problem: it focuses on getting good grades but forgets to develop student habits. By doing a lot of homework, students gain exam skills but will not retain their knowledge. The stress of school has also affected the mental and physical health of many students. The education system must be reformed.
The government should control the amount of homework and exams and remove unnecessary content. They can turn to other education systems, like Finland or even mainland China, which have tightened the rules for tutoring centers.
I am disappointed with the Hong Kong government because it is not focusing on this big issue. In the future, I hope that every student can study happily.
Should schools in Hong Kong abolish exams?
Count and share your blessings
Nicholas Chan, Chinese International School
I felt grateful to decorate a Christmas tree with my mom, dad, sister and grandpa. After I finished, the lights twinkled, the ornaments sparkled, and everything was in place.
My family is in Hong Kong with me, but not everyone is so lucky. 2021 has not been the ideal year for anyone. On a recent school trip, we visited a charity called Save the Children. We heard about their work helping children who lost their homes to the floods and were separated from their families because of the war. For example, they helped Sameer, 8, after a bomb landed near his home.
Here in Hong Kong, we don’t have floods or wars, so we have an obligation to help those in need.
Christmas is coming. But a lot of people don’t get the chance to celebrate. Photo: Shutterstock
The attractiveness of other school systems
Winnie Wong, Pope Paul VI College
Many parents from Hong Kong have emigrated to other countries with their children. Many of them are high school students. The main reason for this is Hong Kong’s stressful education system. Schools constantly put pressure on students and they don’t have time to relax.
But some foreign schools pay more attention to the personal growth of students. Some of these schools offer different types of learning and extracurricular activities that Hong Kong does not have. Students have the opportunity to come into contact with nature and learn in a relaxed environment. This not only improves the overall learning atmosphere, but also has great benefits for the mental health of the students.
In contrast, the enormous pressure on Hong Kong students is clear.