Education reform has always been a hot and controversial topic. While the consensus is that it needs to be changed, no agreement can ever be reached as to how we should go about it.

Education has gradually become a commodity in these few years, advertisements of tuition institutions have blossomed, and tutors have been “pop-star-ified”. Let’s set aside the moral implication for argument’s sake, there is definitely a strong economic force that has been driving all these, but why?

Are conventional schools failing to provide the kind of training this society needs? What do parents and students really want from their schools?

A recent study provides us with an interesting, yet sad, insight. A number of parents were asked what did they wish their children would spend more of their time on? The most popular responses are “to study”, “to learn piano”, etc. Startlingly, not one single parent wants the children to spend more time on talking to them!

I have no doubt that these parents love their kids with all their hearts, and genuinely strive to provide their children with the best they can. The problem seems to be that, is what they think the best really the best for the children?

The value system of today’s society is probably the driving force behind this. Every year there are voices that the HKCEE is just another exam, and it’s no big deal messing it up a bit, some “successful individuals” will come out and tell you how bad they did in their HKCEE. The next day, however, there will be huge coverage on how many candidates graduate with 10A’s, then there are reports on university admission scores, then there are reports on the salary scale of the graduates telling you how much more their graduates can make than those do from other institutions, then……

Education no more! It’s a score competition. People no longer care about learning, they only care about how to get the best results with the minimum effort. Good results mean a place for a profit-making subject in a reputable university, and a profitable life follows. What do they learn from school? Come on, who cares!

And you’re trying to convince the parents and students that exam results don’t count?

Who are you trying to bluff?

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