A balanced education system should encourage sport

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 18 June, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 18 June, 2009, 12:00am

I was struck by the picture showing mainland students sucking on oxygen while preparing for exams ('Mainland wages hi-tech war in bid to foil examination cheats', June 8). It is a stark reminder of how we have become obsessed with academic results and the pressure we are putting on today's youth.

It is therefore not surprising that there is a drug problem in schools.

I remember seeing a picture of Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen in the press last year congratulating students with 10 A-grade passes. I have never yet seen any government ministers congratulating a local school soccer team or any other sports team that has won a school championship.

How can the youth of tomorrow be creative when all they know is textbooks, tutors and the inside of classrooms?

These young people need to get out. They need sport, outward bound activities, and they need to explore our country parks. The facilities are there but are seldom used.

This, of course, brings me to the apathy shown over the East Asian Games.

I note with interest that, apart from windsurfing, sailing is not represented. Every weekend, we have the three major clubs - as well as government sailing centres - hosting events such as a regatta. It is all about taking part, not winning.

As a parent of two, so far, successful children, I have always encouraged them to take part in sport outside school and, believe me, the opportunities are there.

In my experience, the best value for all children and parents in Hong Kong is the mini-rugby circuit. It is without doubt the best energy release and fun any child and parent could ever hope for.

No matter were you live, and what language you speak, rugby will help to keep you entertained and, more importantly, foster teamwork.

To be a world city, we need our youth to be creative, not robots. This can only come about by letting them excel where they feel comfortable and, for many, that may not be in the classroom.

Jan Bochenski, Tai Tam