Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Supposed Answer for Hong Kong's Social Ills

Matthew Cheung's brilliant plan to get more parents back to work, not to kids
The Hong Kong government has come up with a brilliant plan to make the city even more productive.

It is proposing an after-school care program for kids where the students would get help with their homework and be served dinner.

Don't worry about funding the program -- the government is taking care of it with HK$400 million, half from the government (ie your hard-earned tax dollars) and half from big business.

"[Students] will be inspired by professionals from accounting firms, hospitals and retired officials, who will show them how to cope with life's challenges," explained Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung. "They will be nurtured and have their language skills sharpened."

The scheme will be launched this September, offering "whole-person development opportunities" from 4pm to 9pm for primary and secondary students.

Each chosen school would be given HK$600,000 by the government and target 10,000 students recommended by teachers in districts like Sham Shui Po, Tuen Mun, Tin Shui Wai and Western.

Cheung adds: "It will free up mothers. It also promotes a tripartite cooperation, reducing the city's hatred of the rich," he said. "The kids might feel grateful when they grow up and might be given internships... The next chief executive may even be chosen from among this bunch."

Currently there are about 500,000 stay-at-home mothers, and in a census survey three years ago, 8 percent said they would consider returning to work if the right assistance was given.

So this after-school care program the answer?

First of all, how is the government going to get professionals to tutor these students in homework? Everyone's too busy to take time off to help kids with their homework. At best they'll have time say after 7pm... and former officials mentoring young people? What would former chief executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen tell kids about meeting life's challenges, when there is an eminent announcement of possible corruption charges?!

Second, there are so many reports that Hong Kong parents are not spending enough time with their children, and now the government is encouraging the adults have even less time for their kids. There are too many latch-key children in the city, not to mention reverse dynamics in their relationships with domestic helpers...

Children grow up in a more healthier environment when their parents spend more time with them and teach them themselves. This nurturing is important to help foster more confidence and in turn independence; why would a parents prefer to have their children reared by others, unless they aren't fully committed to their children's well-being? Cheung hints that at present parents don't nurture their kids and hence their language skills are poor. That's a lot of preconceptions and stereotypes...

And it's cheeky for Cheung to even suggest this after-school program will reduce "the city's hatred of the rich", because it would be those wealthy companies that would employ these mothers to do menial jobs because they have been out of the work force for a while.

Does he think the implementation of this program will prevent another Umbrella Movement?

He really is on a different planet...


  1. More and more, I get to thinking that Hong Kong's government and leadership have got far more money than brains and common sense. Also where is their sense of responsibility and shame needed to help the poorest among us -- those still living in cage homes in the 21st century and also on the streets??

    1. HI YTSL -- well when you're endorsed by Beijing, you pretty much feel invincible! There is no long-term thinking, nor as you say, any thought to priorities in dealing with socio-economic problems in the city...