Talking Points: should schools in Hong Kong be allowed to make children as young as two attend interviews before being accepted?

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

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Interviews for admission into kindergarten start at a very young age in Hong Kong.

Hamna Asif Kiani, 15, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

I think it’s unnecessary. They deserve to have a fun and carefree childhood, just like their parents did. Schools should not make kids go through such a stressful time just to boost their ranking.

Such a process can also worsen the relationship between parents and their children. This is because parents will have to prepare their toddlers for the interviews, and that means they need to “coached”. Children should never have to face such pressure.

Parents should have an enjoyable time with their kids, and ensure they have a happy childhood.

Xu Chun-ying, 17, Fung Kai Liu Man Shek Tong Secondary School

Schools should not ask children to attend interviews. There are three reasons for this. Firstly, children as young as two cannot speak fluently, so it doesn’t really make sense. Secondly, does a two-year-old have enough knowledge to answer questions? Thirdly, it could be a scary event for the kids who might cry out for their parents if they were left alone with the interviewer.

Whatever the result, it’s going to be a very bad experience for the children. It could affect them mentally for a long time. So, no interviews, please!

Terry Tang, 17, Kwok Tak Seng Catholic Secondary School

Definitely no. First, when interviews scare even some teenagers, how can toddlers handle them?

Second, some parents put too much pressure on their kids by training them for interviews from a very young age. This is not good.

Toddlers are full of curiosity; they can have a lot of fun by playing games. This way, they can also develop their imagination, coordination, and language and listening skills. So an active child is likely to remain active right through their lives.

Kissma Gurung, 16, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of Miu Fat Buddhist Monastery

Yes, I believe interviews are a good way to assess a student’s ability. There is a centralised places allocation system for secondary and primary schools in Hong Kong, and students may be required to attend interviews. Even those who are seeking a place in private or direct subsidy schools may be asked to show up for an interview.

However, interviews for toddlers should be changed to suit their age. For example, it would be unreasonable to ask a two-year-old to sit for a long time to answer questions. Instead, several children could form a play group, and teachers could observe their social skills, such as teamwork and interaction with their peers. Or the kids could be asked to help their parents bake cupcakes and see how they react.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should airlines ban laptops from the passenger cabin for safety reasons?

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 M. J. Premaratne

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