It is pretty much agreed among my friends in Hong Kong that it is awesome for singles but less so for families. The recent news of Hong Kong expats teach kids at home amid school shortages reinforces it.
Somehow the rat race starts really early in Hong Kong (Shanghai is increasingly so). I remember for my first internship in Hong Kong, I asked my boss what he was doing over the weekend. He said in the morning he sends his boys for swimming and karate classes. In the afternoon, his sons go for preparation classes to learn how to do interviews from kindergarden to primary schools.
I also heard of parents buying school debentures to increase the chance of their kids being accepted. School debenture is a bond issued by a primary school or high school. The most expensive one costs HK$10 million (US$1.3 million) to guarantee one student spot.
Back to Shanghai, the same is happening. One slogan goes ‘ Don’t let your child lose before the starting line’ . It is put in a class to teach pregnant women how to teach their babies before born. I am not surprised if someone sets up a training program one day ‘How to ensure your strongest sperm meet the right egg’.
People might think it’s crazy to question the rules and try to break out of them. I think it is CRAZIER to follow these rules.