這一題是2022 DSE English Paper 2 Part B中第二受歡迎的題目，而且是考生平均得分最高的一題。
As a concerned member of the PTA who takes heed of the policy of a four-day school week, I am writing to express my agreement with this policy. So controversial is the topic that the advocates cling to the idea that it is substantially beneficial to students’ overall well-being while the critics assert it stifles students; learning opportunities. Taking both merits and demerits into account, it is my firm conviction that the four-day school week will be in the best interest of students in terms of mental health, learning efficiency and their all-round development.
To commence with, the shortened school week enhances students’ learning productivity. With the utilitarian education system in Hong Kong which places emphasis on academic excellence. Schools prepare students with 5-day schedules or even supplementary classes on weekends. Despite the productive timetable, students’ overall academic results, as revealed by the survey conducted by our club recently, show no signs of increasing, but slightly declined. Why sp? The crux of the problem lies in pupils’ low learning productivity. Constantly practising rote learning, carrying our sheer memorization and toiling over excessive assignments endlessly on weekdays are common, if not ubiquitous scenes in Hong Kong. What’s more, on weekends, they are scheduled by their authoritarian parents to attend various tutorial classes despite reluctance. In the long run, they completely lost their intrinsic motivation in learning, resulting in their inefficient working process. In sharp contrast, if the 4-day school week is implemented, students would have an extra day when their parents are probably working and they can do whatever they want. To some extent, it acts as an incentive as they know that they can deserve a rest after a long toiling of 4 days, stimulating their interest in learning.
As the president of the PTA, you are probably a parent too. I guess you know better than anyone how the mental health of a child can be deteriorated by a stressful life, right? We, as parents, want our children to have smiling faces and happily enjoy their childhood. In view of this, the implementation of a 4-day school week could be a remedial measure, given students, all lead hectic life nowadays. With the make-or-break education system in Hong Kong, the pressure on students is unbearably high. In order to live up to teachers’ and parents’ expectations and pass the exam with flying colours, they blindly strive for improving themselves without offering a chance to relieve their stress. As a result, according to the Youth Health Club of the University of Hong Kong, the number of students who display symptoms of mental illnesses, ranging from anxiety, depression and even suicide ideation has risen by 25%. With this dire situation, only through the practice of a 4-day school week and cooperation with parents could the problem be uprooted. Given that Friday is no longer a mandatory school day under this policy, students can have an extra free day. I assume that some people, if not all may contend that the extra day will only be another day for attending tutorial classes. It is actually right to some extent, but as long as parents can join hands with the school officials and promote that the extra day of students would not be planned with any events. This concern has already proven to be invalid and students’ mental health would be ameliorated.
Naysayers may counter my stance and pinpoint that the 4-day school week would impede students’ diversified learning given that the learning time at school is shortened. However reasonable this argument seems to be at the first glance, upon closer inspection, it is fundamentally flawed. In this digital era, where an avalanche of information is easily accessible to teenagers, students can learn through a plethora of online learning apps. For a concrete example, look no further than the mobile app Snpple’ It is an app teaching people different information about STEM. On the app, not only do students learn practical skills like how to edit videos on Premiere and create art design on Photoshop, but they can also know some famous people like Enon Musk ad Jasin Tu from BioTech. As both of them are an entrepreneur of great ambition and vision, students can definitely learn from their charisma, which may even stimulate their interest in honing technological skills. Imagine, if they are ‘stuck’ at school, could they learn these kinds of innovative ideas ad practical skills? Obviously no1 Under this line of thinking, there is little wonder that the new policy can nurture students into well-rounded individuals.
To sum up, taking all factors into consideration, it goes without saying that the new policy is beneficial to students. The clock is ticking. It is time to take action!