Lee Cheuk-ling, 13, Fanling Rhenish Church Secondary School
No. Young people are stressed enough with preparing for exams, and the school curriculum is already full enough. If students had to do part-time jobs on top of their studies, they wouldn’t have any time left to relax in. Besides, there are many ways to learn how to be responsible, such as handing in homework on time and going to school on time. A young person’s job is to do well at school.
Bowin Shum, 15, Po Leung Kuk Wu Chung College
Of course. Do you think we can learn responsibility at school? Not really. Teachers, and sometimes parents, are too protective of young people. Second chances are often given when someone messes up, and punishments for wrongdoing is often minor. If we forget to hand in homework on time, we might get told off, but it’s never enough to teach us the real consequences of making mistakes. On the other hand, working part-time would force us to learn responsibility, because our colleagues and supervisors would not protect us. If a mistake is made, the potential to get fired is there – with no second chances.
Coby Fung, 13, Stewards Pooi Kei College
No. I think we should focus on learning instead of working. Studying already takes up a lot of our time. If we have to work as well, we would just become more stressed. We can already learn responsibility through our studies, such as by handing in our homework on time.
Fred Wang Chun-wing, 12, Yuen Long Merchants Association Secondary School
Definitely not. There are already many opportunities for teenagers to develop a sense of responsibility at school. If teenagers had to work part-time as well, they would not be able to balance their part-time work and academic studies.
Lisa Lai Lee-sha, 12, Law Ting Pong Secondary School
I think it would be good for teenagers to work part-time – not just to learn responsibility but to have the opportunity to find what they want to do in the future. Working part-time would encourage students to study harder because some of them will realise that they won’t like where they work and they will want to qualify for something better. I also think many people don’t save money because they don’t earn it. If they have to work for it, they might be more appreciative of it. They would also go into adulthood already knowing how to communicate with people in a work setting, too.
Lara Hung, 14, Maryknoll Convent School (Secondary Section)
No. A part-time job is not the only way to teach teenagers responsibility. There are many more ways to learn it, such as doing volunteer work. As a volunteer, you have to be responsible for the people you serve. The fact that you do not receive money for voluntary work makes it even better as you can learn how to give. Teenagers don’t need to work part-time to learn to be responsible.
Chan Yan-pok, 12, Sheng Kung Hui Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School
Of course. If they have to work, then young people will learn better time-management – something which is expected by companies. They will also learn how to prepare for their working life, which means they will go into the workforce knowing what to expect already.
Ada Cheng, 16, Fung Kai No.1 Secondary School
No – young people don’t have time to work because they have to go to school every day and do homework. Besides, teenagers can learn responsibility through after-school activities or by being part of a school team, not just through working.
Siu Tsun-cheong, 13, Stewards Pooi Kei College
Yes. Teenagers are always buying things without thinking about where the money comes from. Their parents work hard for it, but they don’t think about that. If they had to work, then they would better appreciate how hard-earned money is, which will make them think twice about spending it carelessly.
Wicky Nizan Shobana, 14, Precious Blood Secondary School
No. I think a teenager’s main responsibility is doing their best to study hard for their future. If they work, they may not have enough time for their studies. If they want to learn responsibility, they could spend their spare time doing community service, giving back to society, and gaining a better understanding of Hong Kong. Also, some teens are immature. If they had money from working, they might waste it on entertainment and hanging out with their friends.
Edited by Ginny Wong
In our next Talking Points, we’ll discuss:
Should recycling be compulsory?
We are now accepting your answers for this topic. To take part, email your answer with your name, age, and school, along with a nice, clear selfie (make sure it’s not blurry), to firstname.lastname@example.org by lunchtime on Monday. Don’t forget to include “Talking Points” in the subject line.