By KYP Student Serena Chen, published in China Daily, May 2014:
This year, I finished the 10th grade in five months without stepping foot into a classroom. I wasn’t alone. In 2012, there were over 6.7 million students taking at least one online course. Here in Hong Kong, the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology has recently become the first Hong Kong school to offer students the opportunity to earn credits through a massive open online course called MOOC. Already, the course has had 100,000 enrollments.
It’s easy to see why alternative education may be attractive here. Currently, in our local education system, there is too much emphasis on exams, not enough emphasis on critical thinking and problem-solving skills, and not enough time for emotional development. When I was in school, I sometimes had teachers who would only start teaching right before the test, giving us all the answers we would need but not educating us. We were taught solely how to do the test, so this way, when the Day of Judgment came, we would all get good scores. It certainly smacks of cram school, and was equally limited in its long-term educational value. So it’s not surprising that currently there are 5,732 Hong Kong students attending United Kingdom boarding schools and in 2012, there were 11,335 Hong Kong students attending UK universities. People are looking abroad for better ways of learning, and I thought online schooling is worth exploring.
I was captivated by some obvious advantages online schooling offers. With an online school, my living room was my classroom. Some days when I wasn’t feeling well, I got up later and did less work. Other days I hit the ground running, finishing a week’s workload in a few hours. Gone were the days where I would struggle to keep up with an instructor going too fast, or fall asleep in class because I understood the lesson half an hour ago. If I didn’t do well the first time, I could always redo a lesson without worrying about holding others back.
Read full version in China Daily: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/hkedition/2014-05/19/content_17516210.htm