童年是要快樂的!

Writing Question:
It has recently been reported that some secondary schools in Hong Kong are drilling their junior form students to prepare for the Basic Competency Assessments (BCA) to ensure that they get the highest scores possible.

Write a letter to the Young Post stating whether you agree with these schools’ actions or not.  Justify your position with three reasons.


Dear Editor,

    As a senior form student now studying under the Hong Kong education system, I truly understand that we students need to bear the brunt of our academic results. As such, I am writing to manifest why I disagree with some secondary schools’ actions which is drilling their lower forms to prepare for the Basic Competency Assessments (BCA).

    First off, drilling students for the BCA defeats the purpose of the BCA itself or even the principle of education. The purpose of the BCA is to test the ability of students without asking them to do any preparation beforehand. Nevertheless, schools that take part in the BCA still request their students to do so as they are worried that if the results are unfavourable, it might affect their school’s banding or reputation. Therefore, they keep on drilling their students to be well-prepared or at least familiar with the marking scheme of the BCA. But at the same time, it creates a backlash on the principle of education as well, since students nowadays only emphasize the outcome and focus on the results. Thereby, teenagers in this generation tend to overlook their progress or even the purpose of learning. In the long run, it will only do more harm than good to their learning or their later personal development since they might easily lose momentum or interest in if they really do not know what the aim should be.

    In addition, students being forced to prepare for the BCA might lead to another quandary. Indeed, spending more time and practice on the BCA can help to dwindle the chance that students make mistakes in the real one. Nonetheless, the time for teenagers to catch up on their homework or do extra revision will be deprived due to the after school tutorials for the BCA. Furthermore, some of them might need to stay up all night when they want to do preparation for the coming lessons. As we can imagine, how can it be possible for a student who stayed up all night to pay attention in lessons which last from dawn to dusk. No matter how tough or persistent the students are, still, there will be a day on which they find themselves suffering from both psychological and physical problems. Since they might fell exhausted and fatigued after the BCA tutorials when they are back home, most, if not all of them will not have a good quality of sleep or adequate sleep. Ultimately, they may possibly develop different mental problems, ranging from depression to paranoia, attributable to the stress of studying and not having a good biological clock.

    Not only will students suffer on account of the drilling for the BCA, but also the people who surround them. First and foremost, teachers bear the burden as well. From what I observed in the past, teachers already have a heavy workload. For instance, marking students’ homework, organizing a variety of extra-curricular activities and doing preparation for different lessons. Thus, drilling for the BCA requires the teachers’ time to choose the learning materials and familiarize themselves the rules of the BCA. Anyhow, as I’ve mentioned, it will only add to the teachers’ workload any they need to be the ones to bear the pain. Or else, they will lose the time to spend with their family and friends driving them to have bad relationships or lack of communication. As for students’ parents, when their babies are feeling low, parents might show sympathy and feel the same way. Thereby, when parents are back at their workplace, they may have no mood and be worried about their kids driving them to more easily make mistakes or even receive a warning letter from their company and it will be the devil to pay.

    From the aforementioned, we can clearly see that under no circumstance should secondary schools be drilling their students to do preparation for the BCA. Moreover, as the saying goes, “The greatest wealth is health.” When this action might harm students’ health, schools should think twice and contemplate another possible measure to solve the predicament. That is why we should oppose schools drilling for the BCA.

Yours faithfully,

Zara Wong

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