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Careers lessons push up GCSE grades

A recent study has found pupils who heard directly from employers about the realities of getting a job went on to get better grades. Education Secretary Damian Hinds says it shows the value of telling students how subjects taught in school are "relevant in later life". Another very interesting statistic the study showed was that low achievers were particularly likely to be motivated, with a 9% increase in their revision hours. Mr Hinds went on to say "This report underlines the value of good careers education which builds confidence, broadens horizons and fuels ambition. Good careers education must be available to as many young people as possible." This is something Hong Kong schools and educators should take note of. There is a place for career education in Hong Kong schools. . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Teenagers given updated advice on A-level choices

This is an interesting article because it is a reminder that there are no definite subject preferences to help university entry, with the exception of some prerequisite subjects when considering subject choice. It shows that students are better off focusing on subjects they are good at or enjoy, instead of on just a narrow band of academic subjects. A subject you like can often be one which you are willing to work harder at, and this extra effort is often reflected in your results. It is also the case that the actual content of most secondary school subjects is not as important as the skills you learn from studying them. There is no reason not to take an unusual combination of subjects if that is what you want to do, and it is largely unlikely to affect whether a university accepts you. You should, however, research possible course choices thoroughly, especially if there are any prerequisite subjects needed. There is no point applying for a medical degree with subjects like Business . . .

By Sue Smith | Comments Continue Reading

Japan enacts legislation making preschool education free in US$7 billion bid to expand child care support

It is quite well known that Japan faces an aging population problem combined with a declining birth rate.  The Japanese government has taken many policy actions to try to stem the fall in the amount of children being born in Japan.  This latest measure is another example of these actions.  This policy does seem like a good idea to reduce financial burden on young families but there are issues raised about the possible increase in demand that this action will have, given that there are already waiting lists to get into many preschool institutions. Still, the Japanese government should be applauded in its efforts to help young families. Maybe Hong Kong should consider similar actions. . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Guilt and social pressure making young Hongkongers choose all work and no play

Having been working in the Hong Kong education sector for over 15 years and having much to do with young people, this article came as little surprise to me. The NGO which conducted the quoted research claims that this guilt “is a product of a competitive society that takes dim view of rest.” The survey found ”About 40 per cent of Hong Kong’s young people feel guilty or fearful when taking breaks from studying or work.” The worrying point of this is that this guilt may be affecting the quality and effectiveness of their work of studies while increasing mental stress. The study also found 44 per cent of respondents said they were suffering from fatigue while trying to manage with studies or work. The over conclusion is that Hong Kong society need to correct negative views about resting, such as associating it with laziness. . . .

By Gary Hadler | Comments Continue Reading

University graduates face tough competition and low salaries as they enter Hong Kong's crowded workforce

A growing problem faced by the youth of Hong Kong (and many other developed Asian cities) is that the number of university graduates is growing faster than the amount of job opportunities for those graduates. The net result is falling wages (new graduates now earn around 10% less than new graduates in Hong Kong earned 25 years ago) and unemployment or underemployment (where a person is over qualified for the job they do) for young graduates in Hong Kong. The article quotes figures comparing job growth for graduates since 2007 (18%) to the growth in graduates (60%). Questions need to be asked about the types of courses young people are entering and if this is what Hong Kong employer’s need. The fear is the frustration experienced by the young may result in an increase in social problems. . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

The importance of maintaining a healthy and positive mindset in school

The Hong Kong EDB has issued a letter to all of its schools and respective parents stressing the importance of having a healthy and positive mindset when attending school. They have issued teaching guidelines for teachers on how to identify signs of mental stress while allocating more resources for social workers and guidance counsellors at schools. In addition, a maximum of HKD200,000 has been earmarked for all schools to organize activities related to mental well-being and schools are encouraged to submit proposals to the Quality Education Fund for funding. . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

Ofsted boss Amanda Spielman warns mentioning exams ups pressure

The exam period is here with us again. In order to help young people cope with and do well in their exams consideration must be given to how to help young people manage and reduce stress. However, a recent article from the BBC has the Director of Ofsted (the body responsible for overseeing the standards in education in the UK) claiming that just asking students about their exams increases the pressure they are feeling. Ms Spielman was speaking amid growing concerns that schools' focus on exam results is harming children's mental health. The watchdog says it wants to ensure that good grades are achieved through a "broad, rich curriculum and real learning" rather than "teaching to the test and exam cramming,” and to this end a new assessment framework will be introduced from September. The new framework will: crack down harder on bad classroom behaviour and bullying introduce separate judgments for pupils' "behaviour and attitudes" and "personal development" empower . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading

'Aggressive' parents are demanding teachers email and message them on apps 24/7

This recent article from the Independent is outlining a growing problem facing teachers in these days of modern communication devices and social media. “Aggressive” parents are demanding teachers email and message on evenings and weekends – and the “unbearable” communication has led to some staff considering quitting their jobs, a survey finds. The growing use of apps by schools is making it easier for parents to contact teachers directly 24/7, adding to their workload and affecting their health, the NASUWT teaching union has said. “Nearly three in four (71 per cent) of teachers say their email addresses are made available to parents despite the majority of them saying they did not give permission for their personal details to be shared.” Schools should not be encouraging this type of direct communication. A teacher has enough on their plate without the constant harassment from a few overzealous parents. . . .

By ITS Education Asia | Comments Continue Reading
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