Gap year in Hong Kong


Dear Editor, 

In recent years, many high school students in the West, such as the UK and Australia, take a year out after finishing high school before they continue with their tertiary education. I believe it is a wonderful idea for them to join a job experience programme or work for a year and the idea should be encouraged in Hong Kong. Therefore, I am writing to express my views on the idea by stating how it will benefit students in Hong Kong and why parents should support it.


To begin with, joining a job experience programme or work for a year can strengthen the newly acquired skills learnt in high school. Through working in a real-life environment, students can have a taste of having different occupations in the community and can put the theories acquired in high school into practices. For instance, working in a community centre, students can make good use of the leadership skills to organize various activities and cooperate with other colleagues at the same time. Leadership skills can help eradicate the communication barriers among people. Also, it is a chance for high school graduates to lead the junior form students to participate in voluntary services and teach them to be sympathetic to the under privileged society. Based on the above, joining a job experience programme provides a chance for high school graduates to strengthen the newly acquired skills acquired in high school before continuing with the tertiary education.


Moreover, joining a job experience progamme is a golden chance for students to learnt to be persistant in today’s society. It goes without saying that Hong Kong is a place full of competitions, which may put great pressure into the working population. In light of this, if students can get adapted to the work environment, which is full of fierce competition, earlier, they are more likely to withstand the stress and pressure in the future. These students can also be more persistant when facing hardship and will not give up easily. In the meantime, they can have a higher chance to overcome hurdles and difficulties no matter how worse the scenario is. In addition, with a more persistant character and a more mature mind after working for a year, students are more likely to treasure the chance to study in universities or other tertiary institutions, instead of wasting a few years when having tertiary education. From the above, being persistant is a key to success and it is opportune time for students to be matured before continuing the tertiary education.


As far as I am concerned, parents in Hong Kong should support the idea of joining a job experience programme or working for a year for students.


First and foremost, it is high time for parents to let their children be independent. After studying in high school, their children are eighteen or above already, and they should no longer be nurtured in a “greenhouse” or be protected by parents days and nights anymore. Children should learn to adapt to society and work environment by themselves. A job experience programme serves as a stepping stone for students to get used to the reality. In addition, a recent survey has pointed out that the earlier the children be independent, the more the parents be confident in their children. This can also encourage and nourish a more coherent and harmonious family relationship. Therefore, joining a job experience programme is a way for children to learn to be independent, which the parents concern most, so parents should support it.


Furthermore, joining a job experience programme can let the high school graduates understand the difficulties faced by today’s working populace, including those their parents are facing. Through working in real life situation, students can understand that it is definitely not easy to make money. Students can then learn to spend money wisely in an astute way. Then, parents no longer need to worry about the financial situation of their children in the future, which is indisputably a criteria that everyone needs to come across.


Based on the above analysis, it is blatantly obvious that the idea of joining a job experience programme or working for a year is beneficial to high school graduates. It undoubtedly should be encouraged in today’s competitive society.


Yours faithfully, 

Chris Wong