Special Report – Youngsters living on a keyboard

Casinos, housing and schools

Schools just a few dozen meters from casinos? It takes place in Macau. It is therefore no wonder that different surveys have found that young people in Macau are more at risk of gambling addiction.

MB April 2020 Special Report | Youngsters living on a keyboard

But this is not the only distinguishing feature of what will become of the age group with the highest demographic weight in Macau: the fact that young people, even at school age, say that housing is one of the main concerns is another distinguishing mark.

Finally, we are talking about generations of netizens, all of them online.

Just to see social media or shop on Taobao? There are those who guarantee that this is also a generation of “keyboard fighters.”

This special report talks about all that and more, aiming to portray young people in Macau, now that the Youth Policy, which started in 2012, is over.

A portrait that also includes educational issues, allowing me to draw readers’ attention to the problem denounced by educationist Keith Morrison, one of the specialists who, with his contribution, helped to enrich this work: “In some higher education institutions in Macau there are two communities: the local do-as-little-as-necessary students and the non-local-work-hard students; it’s deep in the local culture.”

Co-ordinated by João Paulo Meneses

[email protected]

Government promises new youth policy

The Government is already working on a successor to the Youth Policy (2012-2020). In the second half of this year there should be news. But the assessment that has already been made is quite positive.

The power to the young

If the Government seems to be attentive to the needs and desires of young people, it will be much more so in the future, when they assume themselves as the most significant population group.

Too young to think about homes

It is another idiosyncrasy of Macau (and Hong Kong…): when local young people, of school age, are asked what their main concern is, they respond that there is a lack of housing or that the housing available has a very minimal space, which is barely adequate. 

Be aware of gambling

Twenty percent of young people in Macau may have a gambling-related addiction. Quitting addiction is even more difficult in a land where it is everywhere (even online). 

School dropout. Not anymore.

The idea that students leave university with ease to go work in casinos makes less and less sense. They do finish their degrees, but the quality of what they learn is doubtful, experts say.

You must be a talent!

It is too early for results, but it is possible that Fernando Chui Sai On will be remembered as the ‘father’ of the talent training program implemented in Macau. 

“The Internet is twisting the values”

Older people are frightened by the way younger people connect to the internet and mobile phones. In Macau, there are warnings of over-dependence on mobile phones that may lead to excessive attention to online social communication and less interest in real life. 

With (patriotic) education

Patriotic education is almost widespread in schools in Macau. Added to this is the fact that many students were born in the PRC. Xi Jinping, on his recent visit to Macau, could not be more satisfied. 

Indifference of some young people “is shocking”

In the opinion articles he writes monthly at Macau Business, Professor Keith Morrison is presented as an author and educationalist. As the interview we published on these pages proves, Mr. Morrison is more than that. He is probably the most lucid mind when it comes to youth in Macau. Keith Morrison came to Macau in 2000 and has worked with several universities. He is currently vice-rector of the University of Saint Joseph.

“Keyboard fighters”

Young people in Macau are not as distanced from reality as they seem. There are several factors that explain how different they compared to youngsters in Hong Kong, but the future will bring a more intervening generation.