A large number of candidates from different schools recently entered the ‘Ten model Students” competition organized by a local newspaper. However, there were only six winners, all of whom were female students. The criteria on which the candidates were judged included academic performance, leadership skills, use of language to express themselves, and knowledge of the world. To what extend would you agree that male students in Hong Kong generally lack the qualities that would fit them for the title of ‘model student’? Write an essay justifying your view and give it a suitable title.
Elitism: an analyst of a competition’s result
A recent competition held by a local newspaper chose six girls and four boys to be model students by judging their academic performance, leadership skills, use of language to express themselves, and knowledge of the world. This essay is not just about analyzing why the boys perform not as good as the girls, but to go deeper, analyze the rooted mind of Hong Kong people, or, to be exact, colonial HK people.
The very first thing I would like to comment is, the competition itself is a fault. From the judging method to the criteria, of course, the results, these all reflects an unhealthy elitism promoting a twisted mind set.
First, I agree to have models among students because a real model is the strongest education and encouragement of their peers. But in my experience, instead of modeling effect, the so called winners are always becoming jokes or even worse, public enemies. Why something so good go so bad? It’s because of the mind of ‘competition’. Students nowadays are already facing thousands of competitions like university seats, sports, or more subtle, luxuries, friendships…… Create one more competition to choose ‘models’? excepts hostilities and pressure, I don’t know what else can be made. Even you argue with me that competition brings positive stress or motivation, I can barely agree with this but this brings out my next question, the selection of the ‘winners’.
In the given materials it doesn’t clearly state how the models are chosen but I would expect the process is not that transparent. I guess they are chosen by the judges who are judging by their given certificate, their performance during interview or a set up group discuss with a dramatic situation. The point is all these are made up, a performance, or worse, a fake. If all these are only chosen by judging and all performance, I pretty much understand why they always become jokes. But this is not the worst……
Who make these criteria? Who decide the four areas to be a model student? This is the real, big problem I see. Common sense tells me that it is the local newspaper who decided the four areas, but you may ask, so what’s the big deal? A newspaper is not just a media, it’s also, to the students, an authority. It represents the adults view and it means a “standard”. So, to the students, this competition is already an education, teaching them what is a model. The implication is that the student would think ‘only fulfilling these criteria are good.” Isn’t that a disaster? School performance, self expressing, leadership skill, the most funny one, knowledge of the world. What about compassion? Knowledge of poverty? Listening skill? Common sense? I can make this list longer, but my point is, who decide what’s a model? I don’t need you, my reader, to accept my list of model but we all should think deeper what calue are you putting in a student’s mind.
And I should start what I should write, “is girls better models than boys?” If you follow my previous discussion, you know I am not agree with completion and not aftee with the criteria. So, I’d not discuss about this. Instead, I’d like to point out the distorted mind of making this a gender issue. The question itself is a wrong question, the competition contains wrong message. What else can I say? Making the result of the competition about gender is actually fanning up hostility between boys and girls, thus strengthening the ‘Kong girls’ phenomenon and making the future Hong Kong men more inferior to the women.
My conclusion is, this whole competition thing reflects a mind-set of elitism and making students under unhealthy pressure and bring hostility among them. The judging is obaque and the criteria is limited to some adults’ point of view. If there’s any organization wants to make models among students, I urge you not to make any so called competition, instead, give them motivation to be compassionate to each other, to be a servant to the needy and most important, no need to ‘perform’ as a model. Be a real, courage model all time.