Mothers of invention a necessity for students

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 05 February, 2012, 12:00am


Many Hong Kong schoolchildren blame their parents for their lack of creativity.

About a third of those polled said that whenever they proudly produced an imaginative piece of work, their parents 'ignored it'.

They also said their families were 'full of blame and oppression'.

Nearly half of 830 children aged between 12 and 14 said they were not confident enough to 'create unique works' and be innovative when writing essays and doing other homework. Instead they preferred to stick to the norm to make life easier, according to the study carried out by the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong last September.

Researchers say the problem could stand in the way of Hong Kong becoming a thriving, innovative city.

William Wong, a registered social worker involved in the survey, said: 'When there is pressure on schoolwork, parents tend to put priority on academic results rather than innovation. This is typical Asian culture, but this must change for Hong Kong to become innovative.'

He added: 'In a typical Hong Kong home, if a child is very good at painting, it is not unusual for a parent to think that the child is not focusing on their schoolwork.'

Wong said a child's creative work was often not judged on effort but on whether others would deem it acceptable. He added that this mindset had to change if Hong Kong wanted to become a creative hub.

In his Budget speech last week, Financial Secretary John Tsang Chun-wah vowed the government would continue to nurture its creative industry.

The authorities have named this year 'Hong Kong Design Year', and several events are being held to promote local talent.