Relaymedia

Survey: Majority of Youths in Hong Kong Lack Life Aspirations

( [email protected] ) Dec 20, 2008 01:35 PM EST
According to Hong Kong media Taikungpao, a recent survey showed a decrease in the youth’s performance on an all-rounded health score indicator with the increase in the youth’s age. Specialists say that the present form of education system in Hong Kong does not promote for developments in developing future aspirations, which should be addressed immediately.
Standing at the right and center, these two students who once had poor self-esteem because of poor grades have transformed and grown after participating in basketball trainings. Standing at the left is the activity instructor. (YMCA Hong Kong)

According to Hong Kong media Taikungpao, a recent survey showed a decrease in the youth’s performance on an all-rounded health score indicator with the increase in the youth’s age. Specialists say that the present form of education system in Hong Kong does not promote for developments in developing future aspirations, which should be addressed immediately.

The “Hong Kong Youth All-Rounded Health Indicator” was conducted by YMCA of Hong Kong, CityU Department of Applied Social Sciences, and Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Social Work. From April to June of this year, they’ve surveyed 1,583 students from grades five to ten in the following areas: physique, interpersonal relationships, emotional management, thinking and learning ability, a clear understanding of meaning of life and values, and the aim in life.

While the questionnaire is based out of 100 points, the result showed that the lowest scoring areas are having a clear understanding of meaning of life and values (50.3) and the aim in life (47.6). In addition, middle school students scored two times lower than the elementary students did in the aspect of aim in life. On the other hand, the area that scored the highest is physique (69.7).

At the press conference held last month, YMCA assistant director Ho Sze Man said that the youths were not able to develop all-rounded because of the leading practice of the current education policy that is based upon examinations. Also, because most schools determine a student’s success or failure according to his grade scores, the students with slightly lower grade scores will completely lose their self-esteem and self-value.

Ho pointed out that in recent years there have been more cases of youths becoming addicted to internet, which is causing more youths to have poor interpersonal relationships and lack of aspirations in life.

Addressing such concerns, the researchers said that in order to quickly resolve this problem the two majors that need to be tackled are the education system and the education of parents.

Dr. Mark Li, assistant professor of Hong Kong Baptist University Department of Social Work, suggested that the government and schools should provide more multi-faceted extracurricular activities, which will help the students discover their talents through hands-on experiences and find their life’s aspirations.

Meanwhile, instead of focusing only on their children’s academics, Li said, parents should facilitate, coinciding with the school’s efforts, the development of learning initiative plans in the areas of children’s interests, which should gradually build the children’s self-esteem.