I am writing in response to the letter “Shift focus away from exam results” (South China Morning Post, September 14).
I agree that parents should not focus too much on their children’s grades and give them more freedom.
Hong Kong’s education system is mostly about results rather than experience and exploration. Local students have to memorise a lot of things. In addition, schools and tutorial centres use past papers to test their students and get them ready for the exams.
So, unsurprisingly, some students forget what they have learned after the exams. And, in a real-life situation, they do not know how to apply what they have learned in school.
Schools should help students prepare to enter society. Students can also broaden their minds through exposure to new experiences. For example, they can join school clubs, sports teams or do voluntary work.
There are a lot of activities which can benefit your physical and mental well-being and build your character.
If you were a company boss, what type of employee would you prefer? A bookworm or a practical person? The latter, of course.
What’s more, don’t give up your dreams simply because society demands you do something else. Life is not only about university degrees.
Mianne Wong, Carmel Secondary School
From the editor
Thank you for your email, Mianne.
There is no doubt that many students do just as you suggest: memorise things to answer test papers and then forget about them. I can see this in the level of English we get from people who have finished secondary school.
How does it happen that someone can go through more than 10 years of education and still be too shy to use their skills? And then, some that do speak English are not as fluent as they should be. This shows through in many areas of education.
It seems that the Education Bureau was on the right track, though, with liberal studies. Hopefully students accept the encouragement to “look up” and “look around” at what is going on in the world.
After-school activities are a great way to sample other aspects of life and to find out what you enjoy doing.
I would say that the one thing students need to ask before they start doing something is “Do I want to do this”, because if they don’t, they are not likely to enjoy it and will drop out.