Last week I was so happy with Finland and there new school system. I thought, things really are going to change. But of course, Hong Kong thinks different ..
Since i’ve traveled a bit and talked with people with all kinds of background I know school doesn’t mean the same for each person. I do know the pressure to get into a good university, high school, primary school and even kindergarten in the Netherlands is high. But this is nothing compared to the interview classes for ‘the nursery interview’ from Hong Kong.
It all starts when the kids are one and a half years old, yes 1,5. When I was 1,5 I was chilling with my mom and learning to say my own name. Because parents believe that it all starts with a good kindergarten and from that point a great future lays a head, companies now started to give interview lessons to 1 and 2 year olds. They learn the candidates how to introduce themselves, how to play and even all the different kinds of fruit because they will be asked to identify them.
What does this cost the parents? Well, nearly a quarter of the medium monthly household income. You do live for your kids though right?
The interview questions are getting harder and harder. And of course every nursery is looking for different things. Here’s an example of a question for the cute toddlers.
The little ones are asked to tell what type of eggs these are. I mean, seriously? How do you teach a 1 year old with a normal set of brains who probably just wants to play what type of eggs these are?
And that’s not all of it, they have to make good eye contact, say thank you when they are offered a sweet, of course not take too many because that is a real deal breaker. Same for being shy. I love children who are a bit shy. Give them a smile and they open up a bit. I hate 3 year old kids who are telling other kids what to do. But in Hong Kong your arrogant kiddie is going places.
What am I trying to say .. I think it’s not healthy to take your kid to an interview class for kindergarten. Maybe it’s because I’m not a mom and I have no idea how hard it is. But no, I don’t like it. Talk about pressure. If there are that few kindergarten schools in Hong Kong, why not build a few more? Same here in the Netherlands. I have friends who don’t have a job but studied pedagogy for 4 years. It creates jobs, it will become cheaper for parents and kids don’t have to pretend someone they aren’t.
Because like Jenny from a kindergarten in Hong Kong says: ‘Confident children, who answer questions put to them, will generally score more highly. Being shy is a disadvantage, even at one-and-a-half.’
Meaning they won’t get in anyway?