25 October 2016
A summer homework "helper" (right), carrying a bag with school exercise books, talks to a prospective client. Photos: Facebook, Sky Post
A summer homework "helper" (right), carrying a bag with school exercise books, talks to a prospective client. Photos: Facebook, Sky Post

Tired of doing summer school assignments? Hire a ‘helper’

Some students are taking up summer jobs that help fellow students have more time to enjoy summer.

These students are posting messages on social media platforms offering to help others do their summer assignments, charging as low as HK$10 per piece, the Sky Post reported on Friday.

Messages offering to help others complete their summer homework for a fee are common on Facebook and Instagram.

Most of these “helpers” claim they are university or secondary five students who just want to earn a little money while on vacation.

For reading reports, they charge HK$20 to HK$40 per 100 words.

Sky Post reporters got in touch with one of these helpers, a young lady surnamed So, and asked her to do a Chinese reading comprehension exercise at the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (HKDSE) level.

So, who said she is a secondary five student from a band one school, quoted a fee of HK$17 for this piece of exercise.

She said she is among the pioneers in the trade and has more than 36 clients, mainly secondary school students.

When So showed up in Wan Chai to collect the exercise book, she said she just completed an entire summer homework for a secondary four student for a fee of HK$45.

She would charge only HK$10 for copying answers onto the answer book. She said she could imitate other people’s handwriting so clients need not worry about being caught.

So even asked the reporters to send her comments about her work so she could show them to prospective clients as “testimonials”.

Hong Kong Prospective Teachers Association president Lui Chi-ling said school teachers usually don’t spend too much time checking their students’ submissions, except to see if they have been completed or not.

A secondary one student posted a message on his Facebook account asking if someone could do for him a composition assignment for HK$60.

He was immediately caught; he forgot that some of his teachers were his Facebook “friends”.

Senior barrister Albert Luk said both the helper and the student to hired the helper could face charges of conspiracy to fraud.

The crime could be more serious if the results would have an impact on promotion and demotion, or a student’s ranking in class or grade.

The maximum penalty for fraud is 14 years in jail, Luk added.

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