Talking Points: what time should school start and end each day?

Talking Points: what time should school start and end each day?

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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How long should school days be?
Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP

Ma King-hang, 10, St Francis of Assisi’s English Primary School

Since health is crucial to children’s growth, school time should start at 8.30am, as that will give us enough rest. Plus, even we live far away, we will still have enough time to have breakfast in the morning before we leave for school.

But learning time is also precious to us. Plenty of school activities like school choirs and e-learning can provide us with the opportunity to build our confidence so it would be good if school time ended around 4.30pm.


Shamaisa Mir, 14, Madam Lau Kam Lung Secondary School of MFBM

School should start at 8am and finish at 1.30pm each day, because in Hong Kong, most students do not have enough time to spend with their family members, and they do not even have time for themselves. If students finish school at 4pm, they might reach home in the evening, then have to do homework and study and then they have dinner and go to sleep. Plus, some students have extra curricular activities, sports practice or tutorial classes. Then they have to stay up to study and finsih their homework, which makes it hard to get to bed early.


Cindy Lui Sau-kiu,16, Law Ting Pong Secondary School

I think school should start at 9am and finish at 4pm, because when students are in a rush to get to school, they don’t get enough sleep, they don’t have time to review their studies, and they don’t have time to eat breakfast. They are tired when they get to school tired, which means they cannot concentrate. If school would start later, students could get more sleep, have more time to eat breakfast, and more time to review their studies. This would help them get higher marks.


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Tiffany Lim, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

Secondary school should start at 7am instead of 8, and finish around 3.45pm. Even though I hate mornings with a passion, it would be useful in the future, because lot of jobs start from 7 to 8 o’clock in the morning, so this would help us get used to waking up early to prepare for work or interviews.


Kristy Poon, 11, South Island School

School should definitely start later than it does right now, because students are sleepy and can’t pay attention in class. According to the National Sleep Foundation, teens need about eight to 10 hours of sleep each night to function their best. But with exams, homework and other things, most teens don’t get enough sleep, and that could hurt their grades.

As well as not getting enough sleep, some students have after school activities or tutorials, and if school ended too late, they wouldn’t have time to relax and rest at all. Some students even take public transport (including myself) to school and back home. If school ended too late, they would have to go home at rush hour which is super crowded and busy.

By letting school start later and end slightly earlier, students can get more time to rest and refresh themselves so they are prepared for the next day.


Vivian Lee Wing-yan, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

School should go from 9am to 3pm. Research shows that the hours of 5am to 7am are the most important time for sleep, and will help people contribute more throughout the day. Besides, some people live very far from school, and it takes them a long time to get there. There are also a lot of students who have extra activities after school. It is dangerous if they leave school very late, and their families might worry about them, so school should start end no later than 3pm.


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Samantha Mak, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

In my opinion, the school day should start at 8.30, so students could have enough time to eat breakfast.

And since most people are sleepy after lunch, it makes it difficult to learn much, so it’s better if the school day at ends at 2.30.


Christal Li Tsz Lui,13,Tak Nga Secondary School

We should start the school at 9:30a.m. and finish it at 2:30p.m.

Students in Hong Kong need to do a lot of homework every day. They also have to prepare for quizzes and dictation.This means a lot of students don’t have enough time to sleep, or can’t sleep well. But if we start school later, students can have more time to rest or eat breakfast. When, an American high school changed the starting time to 10am its students were able to concentrate more, and got better results than students that used the old schedule.

And since we can’t just do away with all the homework, we should finish school earlier so that students can have more time to finish all their assignments. And after that, they’ll have a little time left to relax.


Dorothy Ng Ka-yan, 13, Tak Nga Secondary School

School should start at 10am, because scientists have shown that teenagers will have a clear mind after that time. School should end around 2pm, because if you spend five hours studying, you will have 19 hours to do something else (which should include eight hours of sleep.


Natalie Chak Wing-kiu, 11, True Light Middle School of Hong Kong

I would like school to start at 9am and end at 3pm. Right now students need to wake up too early in the morning and rush back home to do their homework at 3.30pm every day. That doesn’t give them enough time to finish their assignments, and they got to sleep very late, and wake up early in the morning.


For our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:

Do you consider yourself to be Chinese? A Hongkonger? Both? Something different?

To let us know your views on this topic, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to yp@scmp.com by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
What time should school start and finish each day?

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