Third Hong Kong student in eight days falls to his death

Third Hong Kong student in eight days falls to his death

Latest tragedy renews concerns that the city’s education system is putting too much academic pressure on teenagers


School pressure is being blamed for recent student deaths.

A student has died after falling from the rooftop of an apartment building in Ma On Shan, the third Hong Kong teenager to die in such circumstances within eight days.

The 15-year-old fell from Kam Pong House in Kam Tai Court on Ning Tai Road at about 10am on Sunday.

Police officers were called to the scene by a security guard working at Kam Pong House. They found the boy collapsed on the ground and soon after confirmed he was dead.

A police spokeswoman said initial investigations had found “no suspicious circumstances”, adding they had not found any suicide note.

The boy’s death follows those of two other students during the Lunar New Year holiday.

Government report says education system not to blame for student deaths

On February 6, a 13-year-old girl was found dead after falling from a block in Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi, while a 16-year-old boy died after falling from Lee On Estate in Ma On Shan just one day earlier.

The girl left a note before she fell, prompting further concerns from mental health campaigners over the academic intensity of the schooling system.

The Education Bureau is considering recommendations from the Committee on Prevention of Student Suicides, which was established after a spate of student deaths last year.

They include looking at ways for schools to provide better mental health support to students, as well as suggesting they work harder to promote students’ non-academic achievements.

More than 70 students have taken their own lives since 2013.

Clarence Tsang, Executive Director of The Samaritan Befrienders Hong Kong, which provides 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention services, told Young Post there were many factors behind suicides. One of them could be academic stress.

“School pressure can build up,” says Tsang. “After the holiday, students start worrying about completing their projects, sitting for exams, or receiving report cards.”

He says young people, parents, and teachers should be alert of students who are struggling with their studies or show signs of stress. “Although these signs don’t always show that they have suicidal thoughts, keep an eye on students who are moody or depressed,” he advises. “Are they recently unwilling to talk to others and showing weariness? Always be a listener and let them know you are always around.”

There is help out there. These are 24-hour hotlines if you need to talk:

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Third student in eight days falls to his death


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