Talking Points: Can the new one-off government grant of HK$2,500 help alleviate students’ financial burdens?

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

Joanne Ma |

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Wong Hoi-laam, 17, Fung Kai No. 1 Secondary School

I think the new one-off grant can help students a lot. Students are not financially independent, so this grant can help them buy things like textbooks, stationery and new uniforms. The money would help students – especially those that come from families that are struggling financially – pay for their daily expenses. Moreover, it would help develop students’ money management skills because this large amount of money is paid only once, so students will have to learn how to manage the money and save a portion for future use.

Pasha Chung, 13, Maryknoll Convent School

No, it can’t. Although HK$2,500 may seem like a big number to some students, it won’t ease much of their financial burden. Many Hong Kong students attend multiple tutorial classes to help them with their studies. On average, they spend around HK$1,000- HK$2,000 per month. The one-off HK$2,500 would only be able to cover their fees for a month and doesn’t really help in the long-run. Therefore, the grant can’t help to lift much of their burden.

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Tiffany Li, 14, Stamford American International School

I don’t think the new one-off government grant of HK$2,500 can help alleviate student’s financial burdens. Firstly, it is not a continuous provision. Their school fees have to be paid every month, but students can only enjoy the grant once. Besides, in the age of e-learning and with the competition to get into a good university only getting higher, students need study tools such as computers, e-books, or to take extra classes that help develop their skills. The HK$2,500 grant would barely cover those things.

Brendan Leung, 14, La Salle College

The new one-off government grant of HK$2,500 can help alleviate students’ financial burdens, especially for those who come from a low-income family. It can help them buy books, stationery, or other learning materials.

The grant can offer immediate help, and even though it may not be a large amount and is just temporary, it’s still better than nothing.

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Jason Wong Chun-hin, 16, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

I don’t think the government grant recognises or gets to the root of the problem, which is poverty. There are many Hong Kong students who come from families that barely earn enough to afford daily necessities. It is even more of a struggle for those parents to pay for learning materials and extra tutorial lessons for their children, who need those things to stay ahead in their studies.

Some may argue that these families are already being supported by the Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, but the price of food, accommodation, and transport just keep getting higher due to inflation. The HK$2,500 grant would only be a short-term means to support those underprivileged students.

In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Should schools allow students to walk out for political purposes?

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.