Up to Hong Kong students to try harder to do well in exams

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 August, 2015, 4:18pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 18 August, 2015, 4:18pm

I refer to the letter by Michael Wong Wai-shing ("Dysfunctional system causes pressure", August 10).

The Hong Kong education system is undoubtedly demanding. Mr Wong suggested that many parents in the city have no choice but to push their children to join countless tutorial classes after school to thrive in the high-stakes public exam. However, in fact, whether or not we attend tutorial classes is up to us. As a soon-to-be Form 6 student, despite facing such a challenging exam, I have never joined any tutorial classes.

It is not the Education Bureau that is to blame for this worrying situation but the students, who (maybe) haven't tried their best yet. Almost every student in Hong Kong has to face this public exam. It is fair game. The more you study, the higher marks you get. Tutorial classes are never a must. Persistence and hard work are the key to excellence.

Furthermore, Mr Wong wrong that he hoped Hong Kong could adopt a university admission system similar to America's SAT, in which public exam results are not the first screening criterion. The suggestion is nice, but not practical for Hong Kong.

The Education Bureau has introduced the "other learning experience" and "school-based assessment" to the new Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) curriculum and made university admission not solely rely on the DSE result. Sadly, the newly added elements have put much pressure on the students, teachers and parents.

No one should be disadvantaged in education because of their family background. In Hong Kong, many of our students come from humble backgrounds, and their families simply have no means to support them taking so many extracurricular activities. If the Education Bureau further increases the weighting of the "other learning experience" in the university admission system, a much larger financial burden will fall on grass-roots families, causing inequality in education and harming the future of our young adults.

Likewise, the "school-based assessment" component has already added to the workload of both teachers and students. It is not a good idea to increase the weighting of this component in the public exam.

There is no doubt children learn and achieve success differently. Yet, though the current educational system still leaves much to be desired, it is already the best under the present circumstances. If there is no way to change the system within a short period of time, Hong Kong students had better try their best to excel in the coming public exam.

Charlotte Chan, Kowloon Bay