Confrontation: Is Hong Kong an ideal learning environment for children? – PJ

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What constitutes an ideal learning environment? I think it should be one that can provide children with abundant resources, varied study options and learning environments, and adequate social and psychological support. Our city values ​​education and undoubtedly provides students with the tools they need to succeed.

The Hong Kong government provides 12 years of free education to ensure equitable and accessible learning. From 2021 to 2022, the government spent HK$110.9 billion, or 15.2% of total government spending, on education, and since the 2017/18 school year, it has allocated additional resources to help reform education, such as increasing the teacher-student relationship. ratio for public schools.

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Additionally, in an effort to encourage good mental health, the school curriculum has been refined to incorporate more support for students and help them relieve their stress through the launch of the HK$3 billion Quality Education Fund. . These are just a few examples of what is included in the city’s public schools.

As of the 2020/21 academic year, 53 international schools, 78 private schools, and 71 schools with direct grant program in Hong Kong are providing various educational options to meet the needs of students with different needs. These schools offer a wide range of international programs and allow students to study anywhere in the world.

Hong Kong offers a wide variety of schools for students of all educational needs, Clarisse explains. Photo: Google

There are also many resources in the city that offer practical and psychological support. For example, the BCGA is a non-governmental organization that provides low-cost extracurricular activities, as well as educational and clinical psychological services. The government also funds a school social work service to identify and help students with academic, social and emotional problems.

Our city’s fantastic learning environment is reflected in the achievements of its students. Hong Kong’s frequent triumphs in international competitions are a strong testament to its success. The 130 perfect scores our city produced on the IB exam this year – more than anywhere else in the world – further show how Hong Kong supports children in their studies.

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Against: Teresa Kwok, 17, South Island School

Some parents believe that an ideal learning environment ensures that children learn happily, while others believe that strict rules are better for getting good grades. The ideal environment depends on a person’s experience and beliefs.

As a student of an international school, I dare say that Hong Kong is not ideal for children as it does not inspire them to learn and explore non-academic interests.

The city’s teaching style and education system are traditional and rigid, limiting students’ learning potential.

Hong Kong is too exam-oriented and doesn’t allow students to be creative, says Teresa. Photo: Sam Tsang

For example, students in Hong Kong have limited outdoor learning experiences because teachers often think classroom learning is more effective. However, learning only in the classroom does not help children develop critical thinking. Without these valuable skills, how can students learn to apply their lessons to real-life situations?

Hong Kong has an exam-oriented culture. Exams are useful for checking conceptual understanding, but as students start taking exams in primary school, this limits their ability to explore other interests. This causes students to prioritize review and memorization over extended learning. They have less time to play sports or study music, both of which are important for pastoral learning and the development of social skills. This means that students fail to become whole people.

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An exam-oriented culture leads to a competitive learning environment. While this pushes students to work hard and get good grades, it can also lead to unhealthy peer competition. This could make students feel tired and anxious, which would affect their well-being and reduce their confidence. Children’s well-being should not suffer in primary school; they should learn in a happy environment, with the support of their teachers.

Hong Kong’s school system trains students to become exam-focused robots and get good grades. However, students do not benefit in the long term from Hong Kong’s tough and competitive learning environment, as it does not encourage children to become active and curious learners inside and outside the city. classroom.

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