Home school hardships

PUBLISHED : Monday, 01 March, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 01 March, 2010, 12:00am

I am concerned about the recent news of parents being jailed for keeping their son out of school. The couple claimed they did nothing wrong - they were simply dissatisfied with the education system. They preferred to prepare their own teaching materials.

The idea of a more individually tailored education is not unappealing. But these parents failed to consider their child's broader development.

Abraham Lincoln and Albert Einstein were home-schooled and enjoyed great success. But these days it is as important to have academic knowledge as it is to learn communication and leadership skills, and to know how to integrate into a community.

A school is a microcosm of society. It's a place to create wonderful childhood memories. To deprive a child of this deprives him of his rights. It also allows him to think our actions have no effect on anyone else.

Linda Cheng, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

From the Editor

Thank you for your letter, Linda. The home-schooling debate is one which seldom arises in Hong Kong as it is clearly against the law.

However it is quite popular in other countries, mostly in the United States. Parents who home-school their children there do so for a variety of reasons. Mostly, though, they do it because they do not wish their children to follow the state-prescribed syllabus. They wish to have more control over the kind of people their child socialises with.

Given today's large classes and enormous pressure on Hong Kong students, it might be something worth considering.

Susan, Editor