Face off: Should Hong Kong secondary schools have a longer summer holiday?

Face off: Should Hong Kong secondary schools have a longer summer holiday?

Each week, two of our readers debate a hot topic in a parliamentary-style debate that doesn’t necessarily reflect their personal viewpoint. This week …

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Are summer holidays are too short?
Photo: Shutterstock

Iris Lee, 17, Hong Kong International School

Time flies by when you’re having fun!” said no Hong Kong student ever during their summer holiday. For most, minutes feel like hours as we slave away at all the assigned summer homework.

Over the last summer, I worked as a teacher at Summerbridge Hong Kong, a non-profit organisation dedicated to providing an English-speaking environment for underprivileged local students. I saw those students bury their heads in their books during lunch and in their spare time. They were clearly stressed and tired, even when they were in an environment that is supposed to be relaxing.

The pressures of being a student are endless, with assessments and the worry that we won’t do well enough in our exams to get on to the course we want. A six-week holiday is not enough. And with all the summer homework we are given, does it even count as a holiday?

Students deserve a proper break from the stress of school. It is necessary for our own mental health and well-being. In fact, I think our studies would improve if the break was a little longer.

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Nicholas Ng, 17, South Island School

Summer is the one time when everything seems to go your way. There are no deadlines or tests to worry about, just movies, parties and hanging out with your friends. But just because it’s a fun time doesn’t mean it should last forever.

The more time you have on your hands, the less wisely you will spend it. The summer holidays are only precious because it doesn’t last, and it’s knowing we only have a month or so until we have to get back to school again that reminds us to make the most of our time off.

Also, if the summer holidays were any longer, we would probably forget everything we had learned in the last year and would be brainwashed by all the Netflix series we watched over the break. And if you’re on holiday for too long, it gets harder to get back into a studying mindset.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good holiday. With all the stress students have to deal with at school, we certainly need it. But there is no reason for it to be longer. That would only make it harder to get back into the swing of studying.

Edited by Nicole Moraleda

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Should Hong Kong secondary schools have a longer summer holiday?

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