Calls for a review of the education system are growing after the back-to-back suicides of two young students soon after the Lunar New Year holidays.
The victims were a 13-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy who apparently fell to their deaths, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The girl was found unconscious on the ground outside the Cheung Hong Estate in Tsing Yi where she lived with her family.
She was last seen alive leaving home for school at around 6 a.m. A note and a new pair of black shoes were found next to her body.
Police said the girl could have been feeling depressed before she decided to end her life. The actual cause of death is being investigated.
Her death came just one day after a young student plunged to his death in Lee On Estate in Ma On Shan.
Lawmakers are calling on education authorities to strengthen their efforts to prevent a similar tragedy.
The Education Bureau cited findings by an investigation committee that student suicides are often caused by “multiple complex reasons” that influnce one another, Apple Daily reported.
It promised to implement the committee’s recommendations, including a review of the entire education system and putting more weight on students’ non-academic achievements.
Ng Wai-han, a senior social worker at YWCA, said many young people face pressures from schoolwork and interpersonal relationships, and they are especially vulnerable to post-holiday depression.
She urged them not to put themselves in a dead end but open their minds to talk out problems. Parents should pay more attention to their children, she said.
Meanwhile, Civic Party lawmaker Alvin Yeung posted to Facebook a letter sent to him by a Secondary Three student who complained that many of his peers can’t see the future since all they do every day is learn without really understanding.
Yeung urged Secretary for Education Eddie Ng to take a closer look at the defects in Hong Kong’s education system.
EJ Insight supports efforts to help people deal with depression and related issues. Here is the 24-hour multilingual suicide prevention hotline of The Samaritans: +852 2896 0000 (or email [email protected]).
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