03 November 2009

Let our children play, would you?

I am back, fellas!

As I told you in my guest post at the Dark Side, I am not at all unhappy about the policy address by Donald Tsang recently, and what I want to say about him has been spoken there. So, this post is not going to be about our CE.

Instead, I want to talk about our poor children here.

Our fellas at the Dark Side told us that some of our kids are being spied by hired private investigators.

I pleaded with parents in Hong Kong not to deprive our kids of their basic human rights, but they just don't get it. So we might need to develop a survival kit for parent spying soon, following our popular drug test survival tips.

And it never occurs to our "adults" that children have no less human rights and individual freedom than adults. They simply abuse children's rights in the name of parenting. The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which applies to Hong Kong and entails a reporting requirement, stipulated in Article 16 that:

No child shall be subjected to arbitrary or unlawful interference with his or her privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to unlawful attacks on his or her honour and reputation.

Whether spying your kids by hiring private investigators is an arbitrary interference with your kids' privacy might be arguable to some. I categorically call that a breach of privacy. It's not that hard to understand, come on! Just imagine that you're spied, you will know. Don't be a jerk, adults!

That's why I support Reidar Hjermann's advocacy in SCMP last month for the setting up of an Ombudsman for Children in Hong Kong. Sadly, nobody seems to care. The government led Children's Right Forum ignored that. I hope the Hong Kong Committee on Children's Rights will soon do something about it.

The Right to Play

While looking at the UN Convention, I found this interesting Article 31:

States Parties recognize the right of the child to rest and leisure, to engage in play and recreational activities appropriate to the age of the child and to participate freely in cultural life and the arts.

Do you think our children have enough leisure and play here? I think not.

To get into a "good" primary school, our kindergarten kids are required to learn multiple musical instruments, to play different sports, to speak and write English, Cantonese, and Mandarin fluently. That means, 3-4 hours of lectures in the Kindergarten to make sure your kids can write proper sentences in English, and for them to memorise the spelling of 100+ English vocabularies. They're also made to rote learn reciting 10-20 Tang poems. After the hell of lectures, they're forced to attend different "hobby" courses, piano, violin, ballet, you name it. In the evening, our poor little kids under six will also have assignments to do...

It is a good thing to develop different talents of our children. But our Village is so skillful in turning good intention into shite. They turned these different trainings and development activities into school admission assessments.

Don't just say that parents don't have a choice because the schools set all the assessment standards. Just don't follow the herd and go after those branded schools. You know where those cream of the cream students go after school? They still need to go to see Ken Sir!

When I was a kid, I was a brat fooling around and had learned nothing much before I got into secondary school. I ended up doing badly in public exams, earned two bad degrees and became a libertine talking to you now. This is the risk of giving your children freedom and respecting their human rights.

But if you raise your kids by surveillance and totalitarian means, you might be able to raise a future CE of HKSAR, the leader position that requires ass-kissing technique loyalty and obedience.

Parents, you have a choice.

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