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Hong Kong schools

Why later start to the Hong Kong school day won’t ensure more rest for kids

  • Believing that they have more time to spare, students are likely to feel encouraged to go to bed even later
PUBLISHED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 5:01pm
UPDATED : Friday, 21 December, 2018, 5:01pm

I refer to the debate over whether an 8am start to the school day leaves students tired and sluggish, with a detrimental effect on learning. Indeed, living in this city of hustle and bustle, students are not spared the fast-paced life and long commutes, and often feel tired during lessons.

Mounting piles of homework and tests are the main reason for students being forced to stay up late, as they have to complete assignments and revise their lessons. Most students, if not all, spend almost all of their after-school hours dealing with those tasks. A majority cannot go to bed until midnight. Consequently, primary and secondary students end up without sufficient sleep.

I believe that it is not just only the workload, but a lack of good time management that leads to students being left constantly tired and sleepy. When they don’t have homework or lessons, many students are in thrall to the virtual world, immersed in social media or computer games. Many put off school work for this, and so they stay up past midnight.

Is the Hong Kong school system pushing children over the edge?

While some contend that starting the school day at 9am would be better, I don’t think that would address the problem. The belief that putting off the time for school can help students better prepare for classes is simply misguided. It is, in essence, students’ poor time management habits and their needlessly huge workload that are to blame. Just pushing back the start of class will do nothing but perpetuate a vicious cycle: believing that they have more time, students are likely to feel encouraged to go to bed even later.

Chloe Ng, Tseung Kwan O