Reality check for our school system

| Susan Liang 17 May 2019

The education system here is largely modelled after that in the UK.

There are 12 years of compulsory education.

The aim is to provide all-round development in ethics and intellect, but the system fails to prepare children for a changing world.

It is focused on tests, whereas in my opinion, education should get students to use their thought processes to solve problems they are likely to come across.

The government should set up a commission to review the curriculum being taught in schools today.

Social behavior should be introduced so young children are taught early to share toys and not bully each other, including not hitting their parents.

They should also be taught to accept diversity and made aware of gender issues and that boys and girls are equal.

I used to grow up in an age when my father always said to me, girls should only be seen, not heard, and I was not allowed to give my views unless asked.

Social engineering should be introduced whereby every job is respected, whether you work with your hands or your mind as society needs both.

Worker rights must be respected, and children should treat domestic helpers with the dignity and the respect they deserve so that when they become big bosses in the future they know how to deal with their employees.

In university there should be discussions of same-sex and heterosexual relationships, and whether the law should be changed on this issue like what is currently taking place in Taiwan.

Our education system should teach flexibility in work and in relationships.

Divorces are on the rise. There are at least 40,000 a year in Hong Kong due to many factors, but surprisingly marriage as a subject is not taught in schools or in universities.

"Primary relationships and empathy" are important subjects, like the relationship between parents and children, and between partners in life.

The breakdown of such relationships and loss of jobs and feelings of insecurity can lead to depression, which is also on the rise in Hong Kong.

The school curriculum should change in consultation with the stakeholders like parents and the education department.

I understand the government wants it changed to make students more patriotic so that subjects like Chinese history become compulsory, which is good since we are part of China, but the method of teaching must also change so that the students have a more balanced life.

Japan, like Hong Kong, is also very exam-oriented, and since more mothers in Japan are now working the birth rate is down and double-income households have to resort to using expensive educational consultants to help their children prepare for exams.

Similarly in Korea, the high cost of education is contributing to low birth rates.

In Hong Kong, the school fees at a private international school can cost up to HK$17,000 a month, which is more than what an ordinary office worker earns.

The growth of expensive private schools will further widen the gap between the rich and the poor unless the government improves the public education system now as a matter of urgency.

is a lawyer who likes to speak her mind on issues that concern the man on the street

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