SCMP Saturday, May 12, 2001


Schoolboy's death fall blamed on pressure of exams

CLIFFORD LO

A teenager apparently suffering from exam-related stress plunged 42 floors to his death from a flat in Tseung Kwan O early yesterday.
Chan Yee-kin, 17, who attended the Lai King Catholic Secondary School in Kwai Chung, was found lying unconscious on the first-floor canopy of Sheung Shun House, Sheung Tak Estate, at about 12.30am. He was taken to Tseung Kwan O Hospital where he was declared dead.
Police suspect he jumped out of a window on the 42nd-floor corridor. Yee-kin had told his elder sister, 19, that he would like to take a break from studying and said he was going to a nearby convenience store.
His parents did not discover he was dead until officers conducted a door-to-door inquiry.
The schoolboy lived with his father, who is a casual construction site worker, his mother and two sisters.
His uncle said Yee-kin had written in his diary that he was under stress and found it difficult to carry on living. He had completed about half of his exams.
Yesterday morning, the student was scheduled to have taken his Hong Kong Certificate of Education Examination in Chinese history.
"As we are now in the middle of the exam period, the only reason we can think of is examination pressure," said Lai King headmaster Wong Bing-kwan, who said the school had been shocked by the death.
"Yee-kin was quiet and introverted. His academic results were above average - we believed he could score enough points to remain at the school for Secondary Six." Mr Wong said that the school would ask parents to pay more attention to their children. A spokeswoman from the Education Department said that before Yee-kin's death, 14 primary and secondary students had committed suicide this academic year.