Hong Kong Education System – Strengths And Weaknesses


Hong Kong Education System – Strengths And Weaknesses

The Hong Kong primary school education is dominated by traditional classroom teaching. Blended learning only started to be implemented in the year 2009 and opportunities like the Wycombe Abbey School Hong Kong British primary school are just gaining traction now. 

Education in China

We are looking at an education system that has some really clear strengths and visible weaknesses. This is exactly what we will focus on in the following paragraphs. 

Hong Kong Education System Strengths

The main ones we have to highlight are:

Good Tertiary System

There are several really good universities in Hong Kong that are regarded as offering high education at really high standards.

High Control Over The Educational Processes

Several standards are enforced and respected, like very high teacher qualification standards or admission criteria for students. Such standards guarantee that all the students will receive suitable education and that the teachers are properly trained to offer what the students need, together with a high knowledge about taught subjects.

The Pedagogical Systems

The dominating part of the primary school education system in Hong Kong is still the traditional classroom. Several schools are using the approach of the Flipped Classroom in order to enhance the student’s learning experiences and to improve the effectiveness of the teachers. We only now see blended learning being actively implemented. It is very popular among those teachers interested in increasing classroom interactivity. This is mostly done through the use of online resources, like simulations, games, and videos.

Examination And Test Results

The education system in Hong Kong is renowned for the rigorous testing in place. Students are so often ranked as being among the best when looking at the international education rankings. The only exception is when looking at the rankings focused on the test scores. 

The students in Hong Kong also do really well when compared to students coming from other countries. In the world rankings for math and science they are at number 5, the same spot as with reading. 

Teacher Competence And Professional Chats

Hong Kong teachers are highly trained and very well qualified. An approved Bachelor’s degree needs to be completed and a minimum of one extra qualification is required, all that before doing work as a teacher. Because of this, most of the teachers actually have a minimum of a Master’s degree. In addition, the society respects teachers. Salaries are high so there are always people interested in becoming teachers. 

Besides the fact that teachers are highly-trained and qualified, they do expect students to always be as behaved as possible. Basically, students are taught to respect themselves and act appropriately in most situations. 

Hong Kong Education System Weaknesses

The very first weakness that has to be highlighted is the fact that students are not properly trained for the globalized world. Basically, students end up narrowly taught and the big focus is put on some narrow information. The goal is to teach students to pass tests. This will not get them ready for careers coming after the school period ends. In modern education, good grades are just a part of it. Students have to be taught how to be good leaders and how to help others. Even choosing a career after counts. 

The other weaknesses we need to highlight are:

Low Knowledge Economy Training

The big focus is still put on the exams in Hong Kong. As a result, the student is practically taught what to do in order to pass that exam. There is very low focus put on teaching students to think. Since the student cannot risk it and make a mistake, which would lead to a low mark, trying out new things and even thinking is discouraged. 

Teachers have clear problems with preparing their students for the 21st century. Skills like innovation and creativity cannot be learned during regular education. 

Disproportionate School Resources

This is a big issue that does quickly stand out when you compare educational facilities. School resources are disproportionately allocated. A study conducted by the OECD discovered that around 50% of the public funding is directed towards benefits and salaries for teachers. Just 7% is utilized to help with infrastructure development. 

The larger student bodies simply receive more money. This allows them to become much more efficient when it comes to buying equipment and hiring classroom staff. Unfortunately, these means the schools located in the poor neighborhoods cannot offer adequate facilities. The funds obtained from the government are simply not enough. We are looking at a clear disparity, which also leads to not being able to hire the best teachers. It is impossible for them to pay the competitive salaries. 

Solving this problem means recognizing that all resources have to be fairly distributed. This should be done regardless of coming from a poor or rich family. Funding most likely has to be increased. Also, it is very important to raise awareness so people understand it is very important for everyone to gain access to education, regardless of socio-economic or other backgrounds. 

Increased Academic Pressure

The last weakness we need to highlight is practically a side effect. We are faced with huge expectations put by society, teachers, and parents. At the same time, students are faced with really high workloads. Juggling in relaxing activities or hobbies becomes very difficult. 

To put it as simple as possible, students are faced with high levels of anxiety and stress. This needs to be assessed and solved. Students do need some help and the expectations highlighted before need to be reduced. 

Final Thoughts

While there is no way to deny the fact that the Hong Kong educational system does bring in results when looking at international competitions, we need to understand the negative effects of all the weaknesses we mentioned. As the education system changes around the world, Hong Kong needs to make some clear changes.

Unfortunately, making changes in the Hong Kong educational system is not as easy as it sounds. Results are good so there is no focus put on the parts that bring in lower results. But, awareness is working and some changes did happen. We have to see if this will also be the case in the future.