Parents are being urged to cut their children some slack after a survey showed that pupils spend a significant amount of time attending summer classes.
More than 60 percent of parents arrange for their children to attend summer school, including interest classes (nearly 32 percent) and cram schools (nearly 30 percent), the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The survey, conducted by the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong (DAB), interviewed 416 respondents between June 26 and July 17.
DAB also found that about 10 percent of parents enroll their children in five or more interest classes.
The results suggest many pupils can hardly find time to have fun in the two-month summer vacation but also mean parents spend quite a lot money.
About one in four parents who sent their children to summer classes said these cost at least 30 percent of their monthly family income, while the rest said the ratio is at least 10 percent.
Asked why they are willing to spend that amount of money, they said they wanted to help their children’s mental and physical development, enable them to acquire new skills and simply prevent them from being home alone.
In comparison, about 15 percent of the respondents said they bring their children to travel with them, while another 13.5 percent said they have no particular arrangements for their children either because they want them to enjoy themselves or because they can’t afford the fees.
DAB deputy secretary general Vincent Cheng, who is also a member of the Sham Shui Po district council, said the results show many parents have an unhealthy concept of making children “win at the starting line”.
Summer vacation should be an opportunity for parents to take their children outdoors for fun as well as for broadening their horizons, he said.
Ngan Man-yu, a member of the DAB family affairs committee, called on the government to strengthen child care services and sponsor low-income families so that their children can participate in summer activities, according to news website hk01.com.
The survey found that 17 percent of the respondents hope for stronger child care services while 31 percent want the government to help their children take part in summer activities.
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