Munsang College Kindergarten (Kowloon City) has sent letters to parents asking them and their son/daughter to join an overseas study tour in America. Seriously, do three- to five-year-old kindergarten students need to study overseas? How much can they get out of these study tours? The school suggests the overseas trip will allow their child to develop English skills and build a stronger relationship with parents. I disagree. I think there are more disadvantages than benefits.
Firstly, Hong Kong has an extremely diverse culture where you can find fluent English speakers anywhere on the streets. Kindergarten students don't need to fly all the way to America to learn and develop their English.
There are a number of useful ways for kindergarten students to hone their language skills in Hong Kong. The children can speak to their English teachers at school; parents may hire a private tutor; or the students could attend after-school activities that are conducted in English. Do you actually think there would be a huge improvement in a kindergarten students' English skills after staying in America for less than a week?
What they really need is parental love. Taking children to America for a few days will not suddenly strengthen the bond between parents and their children. A sturdy parent-child relationship is created through good communication and family outings.
It's easy to make these kids happy. Parents should let their children have fun and learn things by taking them to theme parks, beaches, holiday camps or country parks.
What's more, psychologist Pang Chi-wah says children could suffer from jetlag if they go to America. They may find it hard to get used to the time difference and even suffer from emotional problems. Is this what parents really want? Definitely not!
It is understandable that parents would like their children to outperform their peers, but is sacrificing their health really worth it?