Don't rush into part-time employment

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 August, 2001, 12:00am

A recent survey conducted in Hong Kong has revealed the trend of many people choosing to take up part-time employment, but should students consider this option?

Young people already face considerable pressure in trying to succeed academically in a highly competitive system.

It is hard to judge whether it is right or wrong, because every coin has two sides.

We should consider the pros and cons of part-time jobs.

As the saying goes, 'experience is the mother of wisdom', which is what drives students into the part-time labour force - the urge to acquire genuine work experience that will help them find a job more easily in the future.

They also learn how to handle human relationships when they are working in the challenging environment of the work place. These things cannot be taught at school, and will prove beneficial to them later in life.

Some students take up part-time jobs out of necessity rather than curiosity, especially students whose families are not well-off.

They need money to pay their tuition fees to help relieve their parents' financial burden.

Other students, however, would say they went to school only to please their parents, and prefer to use the job in order to earn some extra pocket money.

These are students who more than likely have no intention of furthering their studies.

In reality, part-time jobs do not pay much.

Employers pay as little as $25 an hour, which is not enough income for students who like to buy branded products.

Consequently, they may steal money from their parents because their pocket money cannot satisfy their desires.

In my opinion, part-time jobs have an adverse effect on studies.

After a full day of schooling, students may feel exhausted, but still may have to work.

Consequently, they have no time to do their homework.

Gradually, their interest in academic pursuits may wane.

Later, they may even quit school.

What is more, most Hong Kong students are brought up under the western educational system. Most of them like to be independent and many are not especially close to their parents.

Part-time jobs only widen the gap between parents and children. Parents may take no notice of them even if their children take up these jobs.

For these reasons I believe we can safely say part-time jobs do students more harm than good. Students should concentrate on their schoolwork.

If we can receive higher qualifications, we will have brighter futures.

So, you had better think twice before taking up a part-time job.

On-Ting is a student

at St Margaret's Girls' College (Kowloon).

Graphic: perspglo