Dear CY Leung and HK gov: it's time to stop talking and actually start doing something

Dear CY Leung and HK gov: it's time to stop talking and actually start doing something

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The Chief Executive, Leung Chun-ying, suggested swimming and fishing in Central in his blog.
Photo: David Wong/SCMP

We hear a lot about ‘bubble economies’ – where the price of something differs from what it’s worth – but Hong Kong seems to have a case of ‘bubble politics’, where politicians stray outrageously from reality.

Not long after CY Leung unveiled his vision of an “after lunch harbour swim”, the Education Bureau announced it would respond to the recent student suicides by launching an investigative committee.

The thought of bathing in the polluted Victoria Harbour has been mocked by many and shows the Chief Executive hasn’t got his priorities straight.

While the swimming suggestion could be laughed away, the reaction to the deaths of 22 students since September could not.

The idea of “providing schools with more counselling services and conducting seminars to identify distraught pupils” is a standard procedure when dealing with mental illness.

I can’t speak for everyone, but it’s hard to believe that a team of unfamiliar, professional counsellors will encourage young people to reveal their troubles. I would be hesitant to open up to strangers and risk being identified as emotionally unstable.

I’m lucky that my school has more resources compared with others, where one psychologist can be shared among six schools.

Most stress management advice I’ve heard revolves around“the importance of handling one’s emotions” or the same-old methods to “calm down”. As the DSEs loom, I can assure you my inner struggles often drown out theories of time/stress management.

Contrary to expectations, I do not suffer from parental pressure or extreme competitiveness in classrooms. My pressure stems from learning in a system where every student is pushed to study compulsory subjects that weigh heavily on university admissions, and there is no room to develop personal interests and talents.

My pressure stems from living in a city where universities are seen as the only route to success, where vocational training and community colleges do not receive the respect they deserve, and where your intelligence is measured by exam results.

The Education Bureau seems to be more interested in showing they’ve acknowledged the problem, rather than actually addressing it. Our Chief Executive seems to be more interested to show he is a HKer, rather than actually being involved in the community.

I am disappointed to say there have been two cases of problem-solution mismatch this week.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
All talk, no action

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