Hong Kong, a city of endless high-rises, is witnessing an incremental rise in stress levels of Hongkongers.
The number of children and adolescents being treated for mental illness has increased by 50% from 2011 to 2016- ~19K (2011-12) to ~29K (2015-16) as cited in Mental Health Review Report, Hong Kong.
Tiger parents are finding it hard to cope with the situation as well. The education system in Hong Kong is unaffordable in every possible way.
Findings of a survey conducted by HSBC in 2017, revealed :
60% of parents in Hong Kong say they find making decisions about their children’s education daunting.
88% of Hong Kong parents pay for private tuition.
86% considered sending their child abroad for better university education.
62% of parents believe that self- discipline at primary school is more important than happiness.
42% of parents felt that the quality of education is worse as compared to education elsewhere.
(Source: The value of Education: Higher and Higher, HSBC)
Saddening revelations, no wonder, they are swaying towards homeschooling. Before making an informed decision, one must dot the I’s and cross the t’s, and we are here to help.
What Are the Pros of Homeschooling?
Parents can customise the curriculum for their child as per her/his interests. Students can pursue their personal preferences without worrying about peer pressure.
No clock watching
Students can study at their location and at their time. No need to worry about spending a fixed number of hours on all subjects daily. No need to set alarms to get ready for school.
A flexible environment conducive to self-directed and targeted learning is provided. Learning schedule can be tweaked according to a learner’s schedule and interests.
Learners can focus on their careers while schooling.
Learners can take up part-time jobs to avoid education loan for a higher level of education.
Students with special education needs can get adjusted to homeschooling.
Plentiful resources are available due to the prevalence of internet for students’ reference.
Holistic Development of the student
Homeschooling allows students to take part in extra-curricular activities and take out time to play catering to their cognitive and physical development.
Students eat home-cooked food and focus on good eating habits while getting homeschooled. Students do not have to deal with external situations such as bullies, peer pressure, performance anxiety. Thus, homeschooling aids in attaining good health- physical as well as mental.
What are the cons of homeschooling?
Parents need to devote a substantial amount of time to their kids to educate them. This can affect their professional and personal lives.
Homeschooling can be an expensive endeavour. Textbooks and lab equipment might be unaffordable in some cases. The family might face financial disadvantage as one of the parents will have to become a stay at home parent to devote time to homeschool their kid(s).
The tangible outcome of any and every form of schooling is a valid and accredited high school diploma. Not every homeschooling student receives a globally recognised diploma.
We have discussed the pros and cons of homeschooling in Hong Kong in detail, however, there are many new ventures in the field of education which can make homeschooling smooth.
All the cons of homeschooling can be tackled with digital schooling. Digital schooling provides:
- A well-planned curriculum
- Digital Classes are available 24X7
- Freedom for working parents – Students will learn online, and parents need not worry about spoon-feeding them.
- Easy to monitor- Parents, students and digital educators can interact on the virtual platform, as and when required.
- Affordable and accredited- Affordable and accredited digital schools are available; all you need to do is research. Parents and learners should research thoroughly before signing up for a digital school.
Now, let me address the elephant in the room. Why are we still searching for pros and cons of homeschooling?
I have missed two pros or cons of homeschooling in Hong Kong-
- The legitimacy of homeschooling in Hong Kong
The legitimacy of homeschooling in Hong Kong- It has been repeated several times, homeschooling in Hong Kong is legal. You can search meticulously, or you trust the first search result EDB (Education Bureau) encourages that parents should apply to provide a reasonable excuse for homeschooling their child, but there is no law stating that application is mandatory.
Socialization!!!- The world is worried and contemplates that homeschooled kids cannot socialise. Only school going (Conventional School) kids get to socialise, at least on Facebook, and then socialisation gets them; Imagine a world full of extroverts – everyone is talking and no one’s listening, all leaders no followers. A world without Larry Page (Co-founder, Google), Warren Buffet (CEO, Berkshire Hathaway), Mark Zuckerberg (Founder, Facebook), Elon Musk (Founder-Tesla, SpaceX and The Boring Company) and Bill Gates (Founder, Microsoft). Since they are introverts; I thought their introduction was necessary. Opinions are worth a dime a dozen, and every life is deliberate and should be savoured. No one can tell you or your child that she/he does not have the courage to make it big in this world based on their mode of schooling.
Now, it’s up to you to place these two topics under the pros or cons of homeschooling in Hong Kong.
We want to change; we want to transform, we want to lose weight, change our jobs, end a bad relationship, and the list is endless. But do we? We procrastinate every new beginning. We Google our problems, find solutions but do not solve them. Fearing failures and not taking the right step is the beginning of the end. Don’t just make, act on your decisions.