At present in Hong Kong, a child can study in a nursery or a kindergarten from the age of two to six, then all children have to attend primary schools for six years, and then three years in secondary schools. These are all required by the educational department, and this is the nine years of compulsory schooling in Hong Kong, which was introduced in 1978. After that, children can choose to go out and work, or stay for another two years to study for the HKCEE, or the Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination.
Afterwards, they can opt for two more years of studying for the Hong Kong Advanced Level examination, if their CE marks allow the students to do so, or get a job. The final stage of education in Hong Kong is university, where students can choose between the eight universities currently existing in Hong Kong. In my opinion, there are many areas in the educational system where transformations have to be taken place.
Firstly, regarding primary schooling, more classroom activities should be introduced in teaching the students, especially the younger ones, as they could learn faster with games than just listening to the teachers, do the exercises required and recite what the teachers have taught.. Moreover, doing projects could help the pupils gain experiences in finding information, which is definitely useful in later lives, and the children can enhance their relationship with classmates too. Playing games can also make them feel that their school lives are very pleasant.
Secondly, it is not fair just to sort the students in to different bands of secondary schools by their academic result, because some may perform better in terms of other aspects. Therefore, the department should change their way of judging the children by their marks only. Concerning secondary schoolings, many improvements are needed. First of all, schools should be allowed certain flexibility in using whether Chinese and English as their medium of instruction according to their students’ ability.
They should not be restricted to use only Chinese or English by law. This is because parents like to give banding to the schools. In parents’ opinion, schools using English as a medium of instruction is of higher class than schools using Chinese. Thus, they are keener in sending their children to the EMI schools. This would result in further competition between students. Secondly, there should be changes in the whole secondary school curriculum, so that the students learning them would not be held on just one view of point.
There should be no restriction on which subjects have to be studied by the students. Besides, subjects on similar nature should be reduced in numbers. For example, Hong Kong at present provides up to seven different kinds of mathematics subjects allowing both students taking the HKCEE and the AL exam. Parents would thus mark their children’s ability by what kind of mathematical subjects they studies. With reduction in the number of these subjects, less comparison would be resulted.
In addition, the seven years of schooling should be shorten to six years to allow the students to absorb more knowledge and acquire better skills and thus be more prepared for their later lives, rather than coping with endless examinations and tests. They could also enjoy school lives more. Besides, more students could be accepted by the universities and they will be better equipped to face the new age of knowledge. The two open examinations could also be reduced and leave only one of them behind. As a result, exam pressure and load on the students could be compressed by a certain amount. The bottleneck in the sixth form could also disappear.
Considering university education, the currently three years education should be lengthened to four years since this could provide more time for students to deepen their intelligence and further widen their horizons, which is a great use to their future occupation. Students could also be more well prepared. Apart from all these suggested alterations, there are also overall improvements that are needed for the making of a more able generation. Firstly, all language teachers should be required to pass the language tests in order to ensure the language standard of the students they teach, no matter Chinese, English or Mandarin.
Language standard is very important at present, especially in this new era of history. More boarding school could also be introduces so that students studying in there could learn to be more independent, and be able to overcome most of the problems they faced in terms of studying and their daily lives. Consequently they could be smarter in later lives. In conclusion, I think that there are grounds for improvement in the educational system in Hong Kong. I sincerely hope that these improvements could help better construct Hong Kong in the near future.