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Education

In one Hong Kong classroom, students learn how they may be falling behind their Beijing peers

  • Exchange students from Beijing prove themselves better with languages and in maths. It’s time Hong Kong learns from the mainland
PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 November, 2018, 5:48am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 November, 2018, 5:48am

Last week, students from Luhe High School in Beijing visited my school, since our institutions are sister schools. Two of the exchange students joined my class for three days of lessons.

At first, I thought we were no different from these visitors. Hong Kong being an international city, I even thought we were better than them. I could not have been more wrong.

We already know that Chinese-language standards on the mainland are higher than in Hong Kong, but many people think Hong Kong students are better in English than their mainland counterparts. This is apparently not true any more. I found from my interaction with our Beijing visitors that they could speak English more fluently, and were more skilful in using the right words. Yet, many people take for granted that Hongkongers are the better English speakers. It’s time we change our attitude.

Hong Kong must heed the message in world university rankings

During maths class, our Beijing friends told us they had already completed the lessons we were going through that day, back in their Year 6-7, which is equivalent to Primary 6 here. So in maths, too, they have surpassed us.

In short, Hong Kong is lagging behind the mainland. Times have changed, we should not be arrogant while doing nothing. We must not stick to a narrow outlook. Where others are doing better than our best, we should learn from them.

Meihing Lee, Tseung Kwan O

Teachers who value freedom of thought deserve praise, not censure

I write in response to the report, “Chill and fear in Chinese classrooms as students are recruited to report teachers with ‘radical’ opinions” (October 20).

Every person should have the right to think and express their feelings. No one should be forced to have the same ideas as others. If that is the case, we are not human but robots. As human beings, we should be able to exercise our rights and develop our talents. And if you enjoy your rights and the freedom to express your talents, how can you block others from enjoying the same rights and freedoms?

I hope many more people will protest against this type of censorship. I appreciate the Chinese teachers who spoke their mind in class, even though they have now been warned to avoid “misleading students”. They were brave enough to speak up despite the censorship. Such teachers really care about their students.

As a student who is lucky enough to live in Hong Kong, I am thankful for the freedoms here and to the teachers who teach us to be brave and speak up.

I hope I won’t see people with no mind of their own in mainland China in the future.

Tiffany Lau Tin-ching, Sai Kung