There is a heated debate whether schools should remove PE lessons from their curriculum.
Some people say that dropping PE lessons will allow students, especially those who are preparing for the HKDSE, to concentrate more on their studies.
I do not agree. I think students should not be studying all the time. They should have some free time to do their own things, such as exercising, shopping, or hanging with friends.
They are stressed and are looking for a way to feel better.
Also, a lack of exercise can contribute to obesity. About one in five Hong Kong schoolchildren are now overweight, according to a Department of Health survey.
What’s more, most students only exercise during their PE lesson – that’s only one hour a week. Research shows that regular exercise can help reduce the symptoms of mental illnesses such as depression.
Exercise also promotes positive feelings and make people feel energetic and motivated.
In addition to learning in the classroom, students need to take part in extracurricular activities to boost their knowledge and learn social skills.
I hope PE lessons won’t be cancelled.
Oscar Fu Ho-kwan, Fung Kai No 1 Secondary School
From the Editor
Thank you for your letter, Oscar.
Students should not be judged only by their academic results. Since Hong Kong’s education system is exam-oriented, students’ abilities in other areas such as sport, music, or the arts are often neglected.
I agree that physical exercise is key to good health. If you exercise regularly, not only will you be less stressed and less likely to get sick, you will also sleep well and be able to focus better on your studies.
Doctors say we should exercise for at least 30 minutes every day to maintain good health.
Actually, a lot of schools in Western countries are now encouraging students to take part in physical education.
These days, many schoolchildren eat unhealthy foods such as fries and burgers, and drink a lot of soft drinks. Exercise helps burn off the extra calories, preventing obesity and many illnesses in later life, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and diabetes.
I think the government should promote physical activity among schoolchildren.
What’s more, PE lessons offer a very welcome break for students.
M. J. Premaratne, Sub-editor