Many students in Hong Kong schools not grasping the joy of learning

PUBLISHED : Monday, 09 November, 2015, 5:09pm
UPDATED : Monday, 09 November, 2015, 5:09pm

I refer to your editorial ("Over-drilling robs the joy of learning", November 1) about students in local schools.

Learning should be carried out in a relaxing way, but because the education system is so competitive, students are forced to drill for exams by doing similar questions repeatedly. This denies them the joy of learning.

I admit that exams are necessary, but the Education Bureau must come up with suitable policies which benefit students. It must address the weaknesses in the present system.

With the rising importance of exams, students are forced to do a lot of homework and drill a lot for exams.

There are even exams for Primary Three students. To prepare for the Territory-wide Systems Assessment (TSA) test, students have to repeatedly practise to answer what are difficult questions.

Primary Three students face a lot of pressure from the TSA test and it is difficult for them to handle this pressure, because they are so young.

Over-drilling for exams can rob them of the joy of learning. They could then lose their interest in learning.

The bureau should make the necessary effort to ease schools' concerns about the TSA test. They are worried that if pupils get poor results, this will affect a school's rankings.

I attended a primary school where the emphasis was on well-rounded development. I enjoyed my years there.

We had a limited amount of homework. This gave me a lot of free time and I could join different extracurricular activities.

I was thankful that this school enabled me to enjoy a happy childhood and I was not turned into an exam-oriented robot. I enjoyed the process of learning. I wondered whether students forced to do a lot of drilling for the TSA tests could appreciate that joy.

Schools should promote a well-rounded development and inspire students to study instead of just forcing them to do exercises every day.

This does not mean that exams are not considered important.

Of course, they should not ignore academic studies, but they must be allowed to maintain a good work-life balance. In this way, they will be less likely to treat learning as a hard job.

Education plays a key role in enhancing the standard of our city. The government must look at the failings in the present exam system and ensure students have less homework.

It should also give appropriate guidelines to schools so that they do not need to follow tight teaching schedules.

Students must be allowed to understand the joy of learning.

Patrick Heung, Sha Tin