Your Voice: Hong Kong’s education system must teach life skills; K-pop bubble won’t burst yet (short letters)

  • Schools must teach students practical lessons, like how to cook and manage their finances, to better prepare them for adult life, one student writes
  • Another talks about the popularity of groups like Blackpink and says the Korean pop genre isn’t going anywhere
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Schools should teach students basic life skills, such as laundry and money management, to prepare them for adulthood. Photo: Shutterstock

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Skills for the modern world

Katrina Hui, Good Hope School

As a Form Four student, I am writing to express my opinion on Hong Kong’s education system. Students are not equipped with skills for the modern world.

In this era of technological advancement, written exams seem absurd to me. Why do we need to remember the periodic table when all the elements are available at a keystroke? Today’s economy not only demands competence in core knowledge but also changes to the curriculum to allow us to achieve the right balance between things we should know and “portable skills”.

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In the past, students sat in rows, listening to lectures, writing notes, and reading textbooks that are outdated by the time they are printed. Not much has changed. The system focuses on competency in reading and maths which further separates us from the outside world. We will never be able to solve abstract problems if we do not have the right mindset in the first place. What we need are critical thinking skills, the ability to think outside the box.

Life skills are just as essential. Parents can teach children these skills, but many do not have time. If the education system put more effort into teaching students how to cook and manage their finances, we would be much better off after graduation.

Learning good money management skills starts at a young age! Photo: Shutterstock

K-pop bubble will not burst yet

Fiona Woo, King Ling College

I am writing to express my view on the article “Could the bubble burst?” Recently, K-pop idols have become a hit around the world. The girl group Blackpink has broken numerous records. BTS has received many awards and is another record breaker, being the first K-pop group to reach the top of the Billboard singles chart.

There are a lot of reasons Korean idols have become so famous. Apart from their looks and performances, their marketing strategies have developed since the 1990s. They have professional make-up artists and photographers, and every other assistance which is needed in this idol industry. They invest a lot of resources into their artists.

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There was a takeover battle between the music agencies Hybe Entertainment and Kakao Corporation to have control over SM Entertainment, ending with the withdrawal of Hybe. SM is now a subsidiary of Kakao. Although it is not the best result, the artists and their fans can finally settle down after the takeover war.

The music, the choreography, the trends – all these things are supported by a huge fan base. In my opinion, the K-pop bubble will not burst any time soon.

Blackpink has broken records with their music. Photo: YouTube/Blackpink

Tiger parenting has no benefits

Alexis Or Chin-lam, St Mary’s Canossian College

Tiger parenting is very strict, and these parents are highly invested in ensuring their children’s success. Specifically, they push their children to attain high levels of academic achievement or success in high-status extracurricular activities such as sports or music.

If their children do not meet their expectations, they will use harsh ways to punish them such as harassing them in public or physically abusing them.

Critics feel such a parenting style can harm mental health. For example, children who grew up with tiger parents may have self-esteem issues due to the constant demands placed upon them.

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A 2013 study found that children whose parents practised tiger parenting were no more likely to achieve academic success than their peers. The study also found that these children were more likely to be psychologically maladjusted, with an increased risk of anxiety and depression. All in all, tiger parenting has no benefits to children. Instead it has a negative impact.

I hope parents realise that tiger parenting is not something that they should practise. Instead, we should always encourage and support our children so that they can lead a positive life.

There’s no benefit to putting too much pressure on children. Photo: Shutterstock

Now we can breathe freely

Andrea Cheung, Island School

In recent weeks, we have been able to leave our homes without masks for the first time in years. If you’re anything like me, taking off your mask has given you a feeling of joy. Why do I love this new normal?

Firstly, being mask-free allows us to see each other’s faces and emotions. This means that we can communicate with facial expressions. I love seeing my friends smile.

Being able to look at people’s expressions can make it easier for people with hearing disabilities. They have struggled to lip-read for the past three years.

Should people still wear masks even though it is no longer mandated in Hong Kong?

Being mask-free helps with daily life. We are able to play sports without masks. This makes life much easier because when we get sweaty our masks become wet, which can be uncomfortable. We can also eat or drink more easily without our masks.

Most importantly, removing our masks has reduced our impact on the environment. For years we have been throwing masks away on hiking trails and beaches. This has harmed wildlife and spoiled the beauty of these places.

Everyone has their own feelings about taking off masks, but for me, it means freedom and a fresh start.

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