LettersHong Kong schools should use renewed secondary curriculum to address students’ preferences
- Readers discuss the new senior secondary curriculum, the benefits of China’s tutoring crackdown, and the shortcomings of English language classes in Hong Kong
The new school year has begun. With the introduction of the renewed senior secondary curriculum by the Education Bureau, schools are expected to have lesson time released after optimising the four core senior secondary subjects. Students are encouraged to use this time to participate in other learning experiences and life-wide learning activities or engage in other personal pursuits according to their different interests, abilities and aspirations.
The survey put forward two proposals. First, greater promotion of the importance of other learning experiences is imperative. Everyone, especially parents, needs to acknowledge the importance of letting students have exposure to different areas at an early stage to identify their strengths and weaknesses so that they might be able to develop clearer career goals and be able to reach their full potential.
Second, with the abundant resources available, schools should be provided with guidelines. This would better direct them as to how to use grants to best facilitate students’ whole-person development while also expanding the capacity of other learning experiences, life planning and career education, all the while making the entire arrangement flexible.
In particular, job-shadowing opportunities could also be made available, especially to secondary school students. This would go a long way towards enabling them to acquire essential skills and gain valuable hands-on work experience.
Kelly Cheng Hui-kiu, member, HKFYG Youth Ideas (Education Group)
Why Chinese parents should welcome tutoring crackdown
Recently, the central government has taken steps to reduce the pressure on children in the education system – a “double reduction” policy, with the aim of reducing homework and after-school tutoring.
However, this policy can give children more time to play and relax instead of being shuttled to extracurricular activities or cram schools after regular school. Enrolling their children in these activities is driven by parents’ competitive mentality.
Students should be able to clear their doubts on academic subjects with the teachers at school. Their parents could also help them with homework. There should be no need for such a large number of children to attend private tuition classes.
Liang Siu Kwan, Tseung Kwan O
English classes fail to meet students’ needs
First, many professional courses for jobs and classes at university are conducted in English in Hong Kong. However, most of the English words and sentences we learn in our lessons are not advanced. This makes it difficult for us when we enrol in these courses after we graduate from school.
Second, English is an international language and many Hongkongers like to travel. If our English level is not good enough, this creates difficulties in communication.
I hope the English classes at Hong Kong schools can be improved to better prepare us for our future lives and careers.
Alice Chan, Kwai Chung