Dear Editor, Many middle- to higher-income families enroll their children in music, art, sports or foreign language classes to increase their chances of being accepted into a good secondary school. However, this is found to put pressure on the children, which can harm their physical, emotional and mental health. I’m writing to express my opinion over this issue. According to Hong Kong policy, all children born in Hong Kong can enjoy 12 years of free education starting from primary 1.
As every child enjoy an equal opportunity of being educated, good academic results can no longer ensure primary students an admission to a good secondary school as they all are expected to have good foundation in studies. Unless primary students are equipped with at least one specialization in sports, arts or both of them, which strengthen their competitiveness when compared to other students, they can hardly to be short-listed to gain the admission ticket to their favourite school or not even the interview.
The major reason for this is that the schools don’t see a great potential in the students in helping the development of reputation of their schools. Since schools’ reputation is built on students’ academic results and their achievements in different fields, excellence in extra-curricular activities in students, the so called ‘strength of school’, is an undoubtedly high weighing factor in deciding whether to admit that student into the school. Therefore, for students to enroll in various kinds of activities is a necessity in the modern society.
However, some researches have shown that the reason behind students enrolling in different activities has contributed a considerable amount of pressure on students, causing harm to their physical, mental and emotional health. I need to point out this phenomenon just happens in some children, who aren’t able to manage their time well and don’t understand the true meaning of enrolling in different activities, which is to help them to develop an interest and boost their own development, such as self-confidence, but not just to enter a good school.
Even if students really find it difficult to handle both studies and extra activities, parents can grasp this opportunity to teach their children how to manage their time and handle their stress well when they are still young, which is vital to them as the ability in handling stress in their adulthood determines their success or failure in life. For a good learner or worker, he must attain a balance between study or work and extra activities such that he won’t be under prolonged stressful condition as he can relieve pressure through participating in various activities.
In fact, many children find that having various extra-curricular activities enables them to have fun despite boring homework. Moreover, being good at something helps students to develop a sense of self-satisfaction, this sense of self-fulfillment can thus boost their confidence when presenting themselves in front of others. That’s why many students enjoy participating in the annual music festival, speech festival, sports day and other competitions.
Their confidence and trust in their interests and abilities enable them to keep broadening their horizons and gaining knowledge through enrolling in different activities, which will always contribute to their success when they grow up. Therefore I strongly agree that letting students to enroll in extra-curricular activities in primary school is a necessity and it brings a lot of advantages to the child’s own development.
First, he can have higher chance to be accepted to a better secondary school which means he can enjoy a higher standard of education. Second, he can learn to manage his time well and thus to be a more organized person. Third, he can learn to relieve his stress at a younger age through positive ways, such as playing piano, thus he can enjoy a healthy life easily when he grows up. Yours faithfully, Chris Wong