Life is very stressful for students in Hong Kong. Some people think that giving students more homework is the best way to ensure a good future for them. I disagree.
Today's students have a heavy workload. After school, many of them attend tutorial classes, and then they have to hurry back home to do their revision and homework. Sometimes, they may have to stay up until midnight, but still not have enough time to do their revision. So they may end up copying their classmate's work during a test the next day and learn nothing. Is this really what the teachers want?
In my view, homework is important, but learning is more about mastering the concepts. When we have too much homework, we don't have time for revision, which is what we need the most.
Less homework will help students improve their academic performance and achieve a more balanced lifestyle.
Today, many students are suffering from mental and physical health problems.
A reduced workload can help them lead happier lives.
It is essential that Hong Kong students find the right balance between resting and studying.
Wong Yick-ling, Maryknoll Fathers' School
Thank you for your letter, Yick-ling. We all know that homework is an important part of school life. But what seems to be happening is that local secondary schools are in full panic mode. They are unable to teach the syllabus without calling students back early from holiday or wanting them to go in on Saturdays.
While everyone wants to do well in life, they also want to be happy. A key element of being happy is having enough rest and enough time to do things that we want to do. I don't mean playing all day, but certainly for part of the day.
When life becomes so hectic that you are unable to enjoy it at all, that is not success. That sets you up for mental health problems later on. Hopefully each student will be able to create a little personal space between them and the education system, where they can rest and recover.