Your Voice: Hong Kong’s boring education system; lab-grown meat not just for vegans (long letters)

  • One student writes that the city’s school system is dull and spoon feeds information to children
  • Another reader express their thoughts on lab-grown meat, calling it a safe and sustainable option for the future
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What do you think of Hong Kong’s spoon-fed education system? Photo: POOL

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Hong Kong schools are too boring

I am writing in response to the article, “School exams no longer needed thanks to technology” (Young Post, October 27).

I would not say that Hong Kong’s education system is outdated – it is just too boring.

Students have no time to develop their interests while dealing with their homework and revising for tests – not to mention all the tutorial classes they take outside school. They do not even have enough time to sleep, much less explore their passions.

Hong Kong students say the new school year is making them depressed

It is pretty widely known that the city’s students are stressed because of the large amount of homework and exams they receive. People always criticise the education system for spoon-feeding its students, as it only focuses on memorisation and exam skills without cultivating pupils’ interests. Being a student myself, I cannot agree more.

Under this rote learning style, students hardly learn about the world in a comprehensive way. Getting good academic results does not mean anything about students’ abilities in the real world – it just means they are good at memorisation.

The pandemic did play a significant role in changing some study habits. Switching from face-to-face to online lessons, students’ desire to learn diminished. So teachers had to come up with ways to make online lessons more interesting to capture students’ attention. This was an opportunity to motivate students to learn via different online platforms, such as Quizziz and Kahoot. Teachers could create tests without counting marks so that students would be more willing to explore.

We get it, dude. We really do. Photo: Shutterstock

The article mentioned cancelling the Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam. But instead of abolishing it, its contents should be changed. Instead of focusing on memorisation, exams should evaluate whether a student has really learned the subject.

For example, when testing students’ abilities in English, rather than focusing on the most difficult passages, the exam should try to improve conversational and writing skills. Instead of having one rigid answer, it should accept candidates’ reasonable responses.

I would not say Hong Kong’s education system is completely bad – it is just exhausting. Students have to keep doing past papers to prepare for exams, and they struggle to sleep or explore their interests when they have so many assignments. In Asia, students care about academic excellence, but they should not have to sacrifice their health to achieve good results.

Michelle Pang, STFA Leung Kau Kui College

Do we still need homework?

Lab-grown meat is the future

Since civilisation’s early days, meat has been on most menus. Whether someone is a vegan or a carnivore, most members of society are becoming aware of the colossal impact their food has on the environment.

Quite a few people these days are choosing to go the vegan route to reduce their impact on the climate. Others have chosen to give up carbon-intensive meats like beef, lamb and turkey. But now, maybe it’s not necessary to cut meat out entirely – there is a more eco-friendly entrée coming to our menus.

McDonald’s to launch a vegetarian McPlant

There is a huge trend right now of producing meat in laboratories. Scientists do this by taking a few animal cells and growing them to make things like beef burger patties and chicken nuggets without slaughtering any living creatures. This meat has never seen a factory or a farm. In fact, depending on your philosophical views, lab-grown mean has never been a real animal.

It sounds revolutionary, doesn’t it? But this is not only a fascinating scientific development, it is also necessary to help humanity deal with two salient issues: feeding a growing population and stopping climate change.

Would you give lab-grown meat a shot? Photo: Shutterstock

Although factory farms have become exceedingly efficient at putting meat in our supermarkets and on our tables, raising livestock by the billions comes with its own repercussions. Globally, the meat industry is killing our planet, killing animals and – in the long term – killing us.

I hope more people can keep these issues in mind and be open to trying new forms of meat.

Serene Chan Hei-tung, Fukien Secondary School

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