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Public schools: pros and cons

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  1. #21

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    The pitfalls of a local only education aren't immediately visible. For the most part, if you work hard, get good grades and graduate from a local university, you'll land yourself a fair job afterwards. But when you first start your career, you often deal with menial tasks or have to do further professional training. This is especially so in Chinese companies, where it's more top-down and all important decisions are made by management. Everything could seem fine until well into your 30's, when you're mid-career.

    If you were great in the local education system, you'll probably do well up to this point. That's when you might get involved in some strategic or creative thinking. By that age of course, you're well past your prime for learning to think outside the box. In some ways it doesn't matter, because many Hong Kongers are happy to work professional jobs which pay decent, but are not management or executive level.

    We often compare local and international school kids whilst they're still teenagers, but that's really too early. It's better to see how they fare later on at mid-career level to see how they compare in the real world longer term. On the flip side, there'll be many international kids whose Chinese is so poor it affects their odds of landing a graduate job. If they can't get their foot in the door, they won't be around to compete at mid-career at all!


  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by rghslk380
    The pitfalls of a local only education aren't immediately visible. For the most part, if you work hard, get good grades and graduate from a local university, you'll land yourself a fair job afterwards. But when you first start your career, you often deal with menial tasks or have to do further professional training. This is especially so in Chinese companies, where it's more top-down and all important decisions are made by management. Everything could seem fine until well into your 30's, when you're mid-career.

    If you were great in the local education system, you'll probably do well up to this point. That's when you might get involved in some strategic or creative thinking. By that age of course, you're well past your prime for learning to think outside the box. In some ways it doesn't matter, because many Hong Kongers are happy to work professional jobs which pay decent, but are not management or executive level.

    We often compare local and international school kids whilst they're still teenagers, but that's really too early. It's better to see how they fare later on at mid-career level to see how they compare in the real world longer term. On the flip side, there'll be many international kids whose Chinese is so poor it affects their odds of landing a graduate job. If they can't get their foot in the door, they won't be around to compete at mid-career at all!
    Surely learning one additional subject (Chinese) would take much less time than indoctrination into an inefficient rote learning method?

    Besides, that’s not the point I’m making.

    The competition for school places has got to the point where the people it was meant for, expats whose mother tongue is English, can’t get their kids into the schools because families where the mother tongue isn’t English (but have more money) are given those places instead. Yeah, all right, this in Hong Kong and we all know where the airport is!

    But the issue remains, why is the demand there from non-English (actually I mean Chinese) families? It can’t be the English because as so many point out, Chinese proficiency is more important. So we are looking at the system (rote learning v out of the box thinkers), right?

    Given that the local demand is there, why can’t the government cater to that demand? Yes, I get that English may not be the local teachers mother tongue but that is not the problem - the problem is the way in which the kids are taught ... and nothing has been done in that regard for the generation since the handover - so no excuses!

  3. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Praetorian
    Surely learning one additional subject (Chinese) would take much less time than indoctrination into an inefficient rote learning method?
    Good luck learning written Chinese without rote learning.

  4. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    Good luck learning written Chinese without rote learning.
    I did it fine by reading the Apple Daily and writing messages using wubi on my old Nokia and ICQ.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Praetorian
    I did it fine by reading the Apple Daily and writing messages using wubi on my old Nokia and ICQ.
    You're very special!
    bbchris likes this.

  6. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheBrit
    You're very special!
    It was a necessity to learn to be able to communicate with girls
    hongkong7 likes this.

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by merchantms

    The people I’ve met who were fully non Chinese and went local all got out well before secondary.
    Our school is even kind of an international school and I can't imagine doing it without at least one parent being able to read chinese and understand spoken cantonese.

  8. #28

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    I like to ask, does our kid need to be Cantonese proficient (able to speak Cantonese fluently) to be admitted in DSS schools? (Our child speaks English).
    Will kids who are unable to speak Cantonese be discriminated by classmates and teachers in local and/or DSS schools?

    Last edited by Chookchook; 26-02-2020 at 04:55 AM.

  9. #29

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    In my experience, our son was not proficient in Cantonese when he started at DSS school but quickly became fluent as it was the language of the playground. There was some discrimination being a Eurasian but I do not think it is possible completely eradicate it. After leaving the school several years ago he retains solid friendships with several Chinese and Indian kids he met at DSS school and meets up whenever he is back in HK. I believe he regards the experience positively - albeit with some bumps along the road.

    Incidentally, DSS schools are not exclusively Chinese - kids only need to study Chinese in secondary if they have studied in in Primary. DSS did provide a small French stream catering to other kids - in our case mainly Indians.

    jgl and Bob Loblaw like this.

  10. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chookchook
    I like to ask, does our kid need to be Cantonese proficient (able to speak Cantonese fluently) to be admitted in DSS schools? (Our child speaks English).
    Will kids who are unable to speak Cantonese be discriminated by classmates and teachers in local and/or DSS schools?
    Years back when we went to interviews, some of the teachers were quite adamant one parent spoke Cantonese at home, otherwise they wouldn't admit as a "matter of policy". Nowadays the EDB is more supportive of local schools and non-Chinese students, to the extent they get special subsidies for accepting them. This has of course changed how principals think! But still, there are many schools who'll hesitate, so better ask first what their policy is.
    Last edited by rghslk380; 26-02-2020 at 08:43 PM. Reason: Grammar

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