The tropical storm Kammuri is passing by Hong Kong at the moment and the Typhoon signal is hoisted. Schools are closed, businesses are shuttered, buses and ferries are stopped, and most people stay at home. The winds are very strong and the rains are heavy. There are real dangers out on the streets.
Yet there are hundreds of students and parents still lining up outside a number of schools despite the wind and the rain, some of them having been there since yesterday.
The results of the Hong Kong Certificate of Education of Examinations (HKCEE), taken by all Form 5 students, were announced on Monday. 90% of the about 25,000 Form 6 places have already been filled by yesterday (Tuesday), leaving only about 2,330 still open for the remaining almost 30,000 students who meet the minimum requirements. Because of the typhoon, the application process have been postponed for one day; so there is really no need to say in line in the storm. However, these students and parents do not wish to take any chances and decide to stay in line. It is a vivid reminder of how seriously we HongKong’ers take our education. And how brutal the competition is.
I cannot help but wonder: Why can’t someone make better arrangements for these desperate students and parents? Why can’t someone give them numbers so that they can come back tomorrow and still keep their places? If it may be deemed unfair to those who follow instructions and stay at home today, why can’t the schools at least let them inside the schools so that they can stay out of the rain and wind?