No one doubts the benefits of instilling interest in science and learning at an early age, but a kindergarten in Ma On Shan appears to be overdoing it.
Netizens were astounded – and some parents were outraged – when someone posted on social media some of the worksheets used in an interest class at Greenfield English (International) Kindergarten.
They said it was simply ridiculous that a subject dealing with bone structures is being taught to very young children, when it is obviously meant to be studied in a high school biology class, news website hk01.com reports.
Words found in one worksheet include “ellipsoid joint”, “saddle joint” and “pivot joint”, according to Ming Pao Daily.
Officials of the kindergarten have yet to reply to reporters’ enquiries on the issue.
Parents, who also made enquiries about it, were told that the worksheets posted on the internet came from an interest class, which students can choose whether or not to join.
However, the parents complained that they had not been notified about the kinds of subjects being taught in such classes.
Several teaching staff from the kindergarten also told them that the worksheets had been revised to make them more appropriate for schoolchildren.
A parent, who identified herself as Mrs. Lam, said her son is a K3 student at the school.
But after learning that each session runs for three hours each day and the fee is HK$5,600 for a two-month module, she said she refused to send her son to the interest class.
Another parent, Mrs. Yeung, said the teaching materials were “too deep” for a kindergarten student to understand or take interest in.
Other parents said the function of an interest class is to kindle the interest of schoolchildren, not to stuff information into their brains.
An academic surnamed Mak from the Hong Kong Institute of Education Past Student’s Association of Early Childhood Teacher Education agreed that the topics being discussed in the interest class are “too hard for young students” but said teaching them new words will do no harm.
However, it will benefit schoolchildren more if they are given material that is easier to understand, Mak said.
– Contact us at [email protected]