Talking Points: Should teenagers be required to work part-time jobs to learn responsibility?


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 universities attract record number of mainland Chinese students

Who is the new hero in ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’?

How does time in space affect our bodies? Out-of-this-world anti-ageing secret

Foodpanda tests use of reusable takeaway boxes

Student arrested in Hong Kong for role in fake kidnapping to scam parents out of HK$5 million

Lee Cheuk-ling, 13, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School

No. Young people are stressed enough with preparing for exams, and the school curriculum is already full enough. If students had to do part-time jobs on top of their studies, they wouldn’t have any time left to relax in. Besides, there are many ways to learn how to be responsible, such as handing in homework on time and going to school  on time. A young person’s job is to do well at school. 

Bowin Shum, 15, Po Leung  Kuk Wu Chung College

Of course. Do you think we can  learn responsibility at school? Not really. Teachers, and sometimes parents, are too protective of young people. Second chances are often given when someone messes up,  and punishments for wrongdoing is often minor. If we forget to hand in homework on time, we might get told off, but it’s never enough to teach us the real consequences of making mistakes. On the other hand, working part-time would force us to learn responsibility, because our colleagues and supervisors would not protect us. If a mistake is made, the potential to get fired is there – with no second chances. 

Coby Fung, 13, Stewards Pooi Kei College

No. I think we should focus on learning instead of working. Studying already takes up a lot of our time. If we have to work as well, we would just become  more stressed. We can already learn responsibility through our studies, such as by handing in our homework on time.

Fred Wang Chun-wing, 12, Yuen Long  Merchants Association Secondary School

Definitely not. There are already many opportunities for teenagers to develop a sense of responsibility at school. If teenagers had to work part-time as well, they would not be able to balance their part-time work and academic studies.

Lisa Lai Lee-sha, 12, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

I think it would be good for teenagers to work part-time – not just to learn responsibility but to have the opportunity to find what they want to do in the future. Working part-time would encourage students to study harder because some of them will realise that they won’t like where they work and they will want to qualify for something better. I also think many people don’t save money because they don’t earn it. If they have to work for it, they might be more appreciative of it. They would also go into adulthood already knowing how to communicate with people in a work setting, too. 

Lara Hung, 14, Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section)

No. A part-time job is not the only way to teach teenagers responsibility. There are many more ways to learn it, such as doing volunteer work. As a volunteer, you have to be responsible for the people you serve. The fact that you do not receive money for voluntary work makes it even better as you can learn how to give. Teenagers don’t need to work part-time to learn to be responsible.

Chan Yan-pok, 12, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School

Of course. If they have to work, then young people will learn better time-management – something which is expected by companies. They will also learn how to prepare for their working life, which means they will go into the workforce knowing what to expect already. 

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

No – young people don’t have time to work because they have to go to school every day and do homework. Besides, teenagers can learn responsibility through after-school activities or by being part of a school team, not just through working. 

Siu Tsun-cheong, 13, Stewards Pooi Kei College

Yes. Teenagers are always buying things without thinking about where the money comes from. Their parents work hard for it, but they don’t think about that. If they had to work, then they would better appreciate how hard-earned money is, which will make them think twice about spending it carelessly. 

Wicky Nizan Shobana, 14, Precious Blood Secondary School

No. I think a teenager’s main responsibility is doing their best to study hard for their future. If they work, they may not have enough time for their studies. If they want to learn responsibility, they could spend their spare time doing community service, giving back to society, and gaining a better understanding of Hong Kong. Also, some teens are immature. If they had money from working, they might waste it on entertainment and hanging out with their friends.

Edited by Ginny Wong

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should recycling be compulsory?

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.

You might also like:

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

Talking Points: Should students be punished for taking political action during school time?

Talking Points: Should schools introduce a no-uniform policy?

Sign up for the YP Teachers Newsletter
Get updates for teachers sent directly to your inbox
By registering, you agree to our T&C and Privacy Policy