HKDSE students reveal pains of pressure

One in seven students taking the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination (中學文憑試) this year said he or she is facing ‘unbearable’ pressure.

This is due mainly to insufficient time and uncertainties about the future.

The Hok Yau Club (學友社) polled 1,200 students in January. It found 14 percent of the students felt the pressure on them was unbearable.

The students were asked to rate the pressure brought about by the HKDSE on a scale of zero to 10.

The average result was 6.99, a slight increase from last year’s 6.83. The reasons for the worries were inadequate time (57 percent), uncertainties about the future (57 percent), self-expectations (46 percent), parental expectations (35 percent) and excessive school curriculums (32 percent).

Around 45 percent of the students said their parents had given them pressure. Of these, 54 percent thought the pressure was normal and 25 percent said it had a positive effect on them.

Ng Po-shing, the club’s Student Guidance Centre director, suggested students and parents not to view universities as the only way forward and to have reasonable expectations.

In a separate survey by Youth New World, of 119 HKDSE students from lower-income families, about 80 percent said they felt nervous, irritated and anxious because of the exams. About 30 percent said their emotional distress led to stomach aches, headaches or insomnia. But 92 percent wanted to continue their studies and only 8 percent would opt for working now.

(This article is published on The Student Standard on 8 April 2016)

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