Talking points: Should students be allowed to go on study leave earlier in the year to prepare for their DSEs?

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 |

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Cheung Yau-hin, 12, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Of course not. First, there are libraries in many schools, which provide an excellent learning environment for students. Some might prefer studying in school libraries because their homes might not be the best place for it. If students took study leave earlier, they might have to use the study rooms in public libraries, which might be booked out by others already. Secondly, schools provide many useful learning materials for students – they can look things up in their classes and ask teachers to help them, which they might not do if they are on leave.

Oscar Leong Hiu-ching, 17, Yuen Long Merchants Association Secondary School

Definitely! As a DSE candidate this year, I’m going to take my first written exam at the end of this month. Even though we only get a limited amount of study leave, many attend intensive courses and have to find time to prepare for their Chinese oral examination, etc.

If we could take our study leave earlier, we would have more time to better plan out our revision schedules, and ask for help from teachers when necessary. This would also encourage our teachers to cover the HKDSE syllabus earlier in the year.

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Siu Ho-tsun, 13, Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College

Yes. Schools should allow students to go on a longer study leave, earlier, to better prepare for their DSE. They will have more time to read and write, and won’t have to worry about class. Schools could also set up study classes for them where they go over their old material instead of learning new things that won’t be in the exams.

Chan Yeuk-lam, 17, Ju Ching Chu Secondary School

I think it’s fine for self-disciplined students to go on study leave earlier in the year, as then they would have more time to do more exercises and commit more to memory.

This is a bad idea for lazy students, though. Having a longer leave would be a waste of time for them, as all they would do is have fun and relax instead of studying.

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Yannis Tsui, 14, Carmel Pak U Secondary School

Definitely. This year’s DSE starts at the end of this week, and Form Six students were only allowed to begin their study leave at the start of this month. That means they have only had a month to prepare for their exams. Is one month really enough for students to revise for so many subjects? I don’t think so. They deserve more time to prepare for some of the most important exams of their education.

Chan Lok-yee, 13, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

No, because if students go on study leave too early, they will have less time to study the year’s curriculum. That means teachers will try to cram more into each lesson, which might put too much pressure on students. Also, I don’t think students need a huge amount of time to revise what they have already learned.

Suki Hui Hiu-ching, 13, Po Leung Kuk Lee Shing Pik College

Of course! One month is not enough for students to study all the Form Four to Six subjects. By the time the DSE is near, they might have already forgotten the most basic things. That’s why they need time to look back over everything they’ve learned. That’s why they need longer than a month off school.

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Ada Cheng, 16, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School

Yes. If students had more time to study, they might better identify which parts of the subjects they don’t know as well, and spend more time on them. Teachers normally have to take care of many students in one class. If DSE candidates go on leave earlier, teachers would be available for individual students to find them and they could give them more detailed answers. Lastly, DSE students often feel so much pressure to do well, they become stressed out. A classroom is not a good place for them to be when they feel like that.

Alice Wong, 15, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School

Yes. Staying in school is meaningless when you have all the material for the exams. That time would be better spent going over what you know, and doing exercises to make sure you have all the right information in the right order. Students should have the freedom to choose if they want to stay in school, though, as some might think that attending classes is more helpful for them.

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Kate Lee, 16, Precious Blood Secondary School

I think students should be allowed to go on study leave earlier in the year to prepare for their DSE. I believe Form Six students should already have good time management and are self-disciplined. If students have more time to prepare for their exams, their results will be better, because they will have been in charge of their own study timetable. I would prefer to sort out my own timetable rather than to follow the school’s schedule, because my school is far from where I live. Not having to make allowances for travelling would mean that I have more time to actually study.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should all teenagers be required to work part-time to learn responsibility?

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.