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Interview training for Hong Kong toddlers

Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 01:27

Hong Kong's parents send their toddlers to interview classes, in a bid to beat fierce competition for a seat in a good kindergarten. Yiming Woo reports.

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Carlson Chuen is only two years old, and he's preparing for an important interview. His mother wants him to get into one of Hong Kong's top kindergartens to get a head start in life. Rose Cheung says the pressure is on for her son, as he was born in a popular year in the Chinese zodiac. (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) MOTHER OF TWO-YEARS-AND-THREE-MONTHS-OLD CARLSON CHUEN, ROSE CHEUNG, SAYING: "He was born in the year of the Dragon, and the birth rate was high in Hong Kong that year. Competition is fierce. I want to increase his competitiveness, that's why I enrolled him in this course." Here at this tutoring school, a course of 12 classes costs nearly $600. Principal Teresa Fahy (pron: Fah-he) says the preparations are worth it. She says four out of five of her students secured a place in the kindergarten of their choice last year. (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) PRINCIPAL OF HONG KONG YOUNG TALENTS ASSOCIATION, TERESA FAHY, SAYING: "The biggest value of this course is to take away the children's fear, at least they won't get scared. They won't think going to an interview is like getting a death penalty. Instead of getting spooked, they will think it is a happy experience, it is like playing games. Some people may think they can do the same training at home. But we have a professionally designed course. The course teaches you what you need to do in the exam." While some parents feel enormous pressure, the competition may just be superficial. Statistics show that there are more than enough kindergarten places for all the toddlers in Hong Kong.

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Interview training for Hong Kong toddlers

Sunday, May 24, 2015 - 01:27