Young people who want to enroll in summer school had better queue up. Local media report that on Sunday up to 700 people, mostly parents, queued up overnight outside ACME Learning Centre in Shatin. One parent, who arrived at the Centre at 6.00am, claimed she had waited for four hours to complete registration. Some reports claim that some students and parents were unaware of the benefits of attending a summer school programme, but queued up because of the centre’s good reputation. Meanwhile, other parents join the queue because summer school candidates are given priority for after-school tutoring programmes during term time.
These summer schools run like normal schools, with homework, assignments and exams. ACME Learning Centre offers 450 courses for secondary and primary school students. This summer, one programme is a one-day, “12-hour marathon course” that trains students exclusively on how to take exams. Some of these courses run for a period of six weeks, with six classes each week (each at 1 hour and 45 minutes), and costs HK$1,000 at a first come first served basis.
La Salle College’s former assistant principle Peter Chiu Wing-tak says that “taking the holiday out of summer holiday is unethical. Students should be allowed to rest and relax, or they will burn out and lose interest in learning.” He also laments that “Hong Kong parents are too competitive and are always comparing their child with other children. This means they are always on their toes regardless of whether or not this is healthy for their children”