Saturday, 14 April 2012

What Childhood?

I have heard stories of three-year-old children in Hong Kong having to jump through hoops just to get into pre-school and thought that was stressful enough.

But last night my parents' friends told me about babies just over a year old going to pre-pre-school. It's called ITT -- infants, toddlers and two year olds.

For HK$6,000 a month, three times a week, the child must be accompanied by an adult, who could be the parent, grandparent or nanny, and they sing songs, learn words and play for an hour and a half. There is a break in between so that diapers can be changed.

Apparently the adults have to keep washing their hands so much that they've washed their skin raw by the end of the session.

What can a one-year-old child learn? Some can't even speak at that age.

And yet there are many kids going through this program, because as soon as one class is over, the next batch of children come in.

Is this what Hong Kong has become? A place where children lose their childhood at the age of one?

When they grow up they will wonder what their lives have become and why they have no warm childhood memories.

Meanwhile the parents will have even higher expectations of their children having invested so much time and money into them.

Doesn't see this will bode well for the future of Hong Kong when all the next generation remembers is going to class every waking moment of their lives.

It looks like the makings of a dystopian society.

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