School Starting Time


6D Chimney Chui


2015 DSE Part A

A recent article in the Young Post suggested that an 8:00am start to the school day makes students feel tired and sleepy. Write to the editor of the Young Post expressing your views on the following:

  • Why students feel tired; and
  • Whether or not a 9:00am start will solve the problem

Dear Editor,

In view of a recent article which suggested that an 8:00am start to the school day makes students feel tired and sleepy, I am writing to express my views on the reasons for students feeling tired and whether or not a 9:00am start will solve the problem.

To begin with, piles and piles of homework have occupied most of the time of the students, which diminish their rest and make them tired. Homework is somehow tedious and time-consuming, though the intention of having homework is good for students’ revision and knowledge consolidation. Thinking deeply, we would be able to see the holistic view, which is students are having too much on their plates every day, rushing through their work all night would definitely not helping their studying, but in turn sacrifice their sole freedom of rest. With no doubts, stacks of work do no good for students’ development, and it induces to the phenomenon that students are exhausted and snoozy during lessons.

Apart from the bulky burden of homework, routine and ever-placid lessons also trigger students’ tiredness. Under Hong Kong’s education system, schools are required to teach bundles of knowledge every year. Therefore, it is common to see insipid lessons with all students sticking onto their seats quietly without any ‘activities’. By listening and listening to what the teachers say, students are expected to catch their words so as to learn, but the fact is, without any tasks and activities to stimulate students’ brains, brains will be slowed down and gone blank. In this way, what are left on the seats would be their bodies but no longer together with their mind and attention. It is for sure that students would be sleepy due to the dullness of lessons.

With reference to the above 2 reasons, a 9:00am start of school day would not have any significant effects on such a problem. As seen from the reasons, students get tired and sleepy because of daily homework burden and insipid lesson modes, so it is obvious that starting late for an hour can neither alleviate students’ workload nor luster the lessons, and the problem would just keep going.

In response to the problem, we should always look into the root, the unequivocal reasons stated in the previous paragraphs. Although this problem is vexing for long, we should not look down on the importance of solving it, because by keeping students awake, the momentum for learning would soar and a better learning environment could be built too.

Yours faithfully,


Pat Li