Hong Kong Parents Value Grades Over Health, Survey Finds
72.2 per cent of Hong Kong parents, with children between the ages of three and 16, agree that academic performance is “extremely important,” according to a survey conducted by retail center group Plaza Hollywood. Only 10.9 per cent of parents rank “health condition” on the same level.
Hong Kong is known for its pressure-cooker style examination system, with parents placing high emphasis on academic achievements.
Local ten-year-old twins have sailed through British high school exams. Estephe and his sister Perrine Corlin scored straight “As” in maths papers that are normally taken by 16-year-olds, with their mother attributing their success to a gruelling schedule.
Furthermore, 87 per cent of the 629 respondents also said that they had hired domestic helpers to take care of their children. (And we know very well what that means: a human disconnect between parent and child.)
The report by the AFP about the survey’s methodology is vague, so take these results with a grain of salt. For all we know, they could have been interviewed in Plaza Hollywood itself. Known for its high-end shops and 10,000 square-foot exhibition venue, the mall is connected to the private housing estate Galaxia in Diamond Hill — so it certainly courts a particular set of consumers.
My sense of the standard Chinese perspective has always been that “good health” is as important, if not more so, than “good grades,” at least in my realm of experience as a Hong Kong student — which, admittedly, is severely limited. I wish the report could have been more clear on several factors: the type of schooling (boarding, international, private, public) and socioeconomic status were crucially left out.
Nevertheless, it echoes discussion brought up earlier this year by Amy Chua, who believes that an extremely strict style of “Asian parenting” is required to help children excel. This was perhaps recently validated by news that Harvard University has accepted Chua’s daughter as an incoming student.
Discuss: Does this survey seem accurate to you? What are your thoughts on this so-called “Asian parenting”?
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TAGS: Amy Chua • Chinese parenting • Harvard • Hong Kong • Parenting culture • Tiger Mom
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