Talking Points: Should schools reward students for 100 per cent attendance?


Hate it when you can’t talk back? Well, you can with Young Post. Have your say and share with students around Hong Kong

Ginny Wong |

Latest Articles

Hong Kong international school fosters culture of giving with ‘free dress days’

7 commonly misused phrases in English, from ‘hunger pangs’ to ‘wreak havoc’

2,000 hamsters to be euthanised over fears of first animal-to-human Covid transmission in Hong Kong

Don’t be shell-shocked, but lobster meatballs don’t actually have any lobster

Canto-pop star Keung To reaches out to father of disabled daughter

Lin Tsz-ying, 18, Precious Blood Secondary School

I don’t think they should. I think students should be self-disciplined. If schools gave prizes with the aim of encouraging students to always come to class, more students would turn up and fewer would play truant but that does not necessarily mean that they would want to learn. They would be there just to get the prizes or merits. This kind of materialistic motivation is not good for students’ long-term development.

Felicity Hui, 12, Immaculate Heart of Mary College

Yes, I think they should. It would be really encouraging. You don’t want to go to class when you are ill. But if you could get a reward for 100 per cent attendance, you would have the motivation to fight against any illness. You would also say “no” to excuses that stop you from going to school. Everyone loves a reward!

Talking Points: Should cyberbullying be treated as a crime?

Chan Lok-yee, 12, SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Of course! If students don’t go to school they will have difficulty in their lessons that come after the one they miss. Also, teachers need to spend more time catching students up on things other students already learned. This is not fair to other students. To stop this,  I think it’s a good idea to introduce  a reward for attendance.

Teresa Kwok, 14, South Island School

I don’t think so. Most schools have a  policy that says all students have to go to school, except when they are sick, have competitions, or have exams. If students take leave for the above reasons, they might lose out on a reward. That wouldn’t be fair as they are trying to contribute  to their school. Students should go to school because they want to learn, not because of rewards. Although giving awards for attendance might entice  them to go to school, it would be for all  the wrong reasons.

Talking Points: Should students be required to complete homework over the summer?

Wu Mang-chak, 13, Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College

No. Going to school every day is a duty that every student  has. Students, unless they are ill, go to school every day as otherwise they would be cheating themselves. It would be unfair to reward some for 100 per cent attendance, while others miss out just because they happened to be ill.

Cherry Wong, 12, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Yes, I think so.!Students would have to work hard for a whole year to get 100 per cent attendance. Not many would be able to do this, but many would be motivated to try. If schools don’t give out a reward, many students might not think coming into class every day would be worth it. Having the idea they would be rewarded would motivate them!

Talking Points: Should parents be allowed to track their children’s whereabouts using the GPS on their phones?

Ng Ka Yan, 12, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Of course! The best would be for schools to give out scholarships and prizes. It would show students that schools reward good behaviour, not just their academic scores. Otherwise, all teachers would care about are their students’ test results.

Jankin Tang, 14, SKH Lam Kau Mow Secondary School

I think school should not reward students for 100 per cent attendance. Think of what students would do. They might be tempted to come into school even if they are very sick. Others might not attend competitions or events that would actually help them after they graduate – just so they get 100 per cent.

Talking Points: Is it a school’s responsibility to care for a student’s well-being?

Ady Lam, 14, Island School

At first glance, it seems like a “yes”. There’s nothing right now keeping students from skiving, but a reward would change that completely. It’s a bit like when you give toddlers tasty drinks after a painful injection – if you sacrifice something, you get something in return.

However, a reward would be slightly derogatory in this case. The fact that we need to be bribed to do something that should be expected already shows how little faith adults have in today’s generation. Perhaps if a little more trust was shown between the two, a reward wouldn’t even be necessary.

Tse Wai-ting, 17, Precious Blood Secondary School

No, I don’t think so. Attending school is a student’s responsibility. If schools want people to turn up regularly, they must educate them about the importance of good attendance. It is only when students attend school all the time can they gain the most from education and make school a meaningful experience. Schools should also let students know that if they are often absent, they will have difficulty following the lessons. Rewarding people for full attendance may encourage those who are ill to go to school because they want to get the reward. This could spread illnesses on campus.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should the school week be reduced from five days  to four? 

We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to [email protected] by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

Edited by Ginny Wong