Are 'brand-name schools' taking over?
People today, especially teenagers, spend a lot of money on brand-name products. For instance, you can buy a pair of jeans from a market stall, but many people prefer to buy Levis. Why? Are they better? Do they last longer? No. It is because of the logo on the back of the jeans.
It is pathetic to see this brand-name phenomenon spread to the academic arena. Parents want their children to go to prestigious schools. They push their children to learn different skills, such calligraphy or playing the saxophone, so they will get a place in a famous school.
School is a place for study, and we shouldn't see going to a prestigious school as the key to future success. I can't deny many of these schools have better facilities and resources, but it would not help if you don't work hard.
I don't want to be an alumnus of a famous school. I am deeply grateful for all I have learned at my own school.
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Chun-ting. You're quite right about a prestigious education being wasted if the students are lazy. It's good that you feel allegiance to your school. However, school names are important up to a point.
Hong Kong is very competitive place, and sometimes going to a good school is the only thing that might set you apart from many other candidates for a single job. Parents are stressed about getting their children into good schools so that they will have the advantage of all that school has to offer. They also know that the better the school, the higher chance their child has of getting into a good university. Some parents firmly believe if they do not give their children every advantage in life, they will have failed them.
Of course this is not the case. There needs to be a balance between competition and a stable, loving and accepting family. Every child is precious and their worth should not be judged solely on their educational achievements.