Friday, 2 June 2017

Glossing Over Vital Details

The Education Bureau underestimates what students know about government
Hong Kong secondary students are getting the "Basic Law Education for Dummies", as teaching materials are using bizarre analogies to explain the city's relationship with the mainland and how the city's leader should be chosen.

In the teaching materials for a 15-hour "Constitution and the Basic Law" module, now part of the required Basic Law lessons, the Education Bureau compares the Chinese central government to a school principal, and the city's chief executive to a form teacher.

Eddie Ng's department under fire for simplified material
In the video, the narrator says a principal could not manage matters in detail for every class, so he authorized form teachers to do so.

As to who should be a form teacher, the narrator says it was the principal who decided.

Talk about simplifying too much and skipping a lot of detail!

Education lawmaker Ip Kin-yuen slammed the video as misleading.

He said it failed to give the context of "one country, two systems", and presented the chief executive position as appointed rather than elected (by a small voting committee).

"With this explanation, we do not need to resume political reform," he said. "Instead [it shows that] we should move towards the appointment of [chief executives]."

Students are political thanks to the Umbrella Movement
Ip, a former principal, also questioned the omission of a section of teaching materials related to one's rights protected in the Basic Law, which was in previous versions of the materials.

Of the 39 hours needed to complete this course, 24 hours will be focused on Chinese history lessons, and the remaining 15 on life and society topics. However, it's expected that Basic Law education will later expand to a total of 51 hours.

In response, Secretary for Education Eddie Ng Hak-kim denied the new education requirement was supposed to replace the controversial national education program aimed at promoting patriotism.

But what is it then? How can one compare a school hierarchy with the way our government leader is chosen?

The Education Department is assuming young people know nothing about how government works and live such sheltered lives that they need the analogy of a school to understand.

Except these days, thanks to Scholarism and the Umbrella Movement, students are very well versed in politics and aren't impressed with the current administration.

This paternalistic way of teaching is condescending and pathetic. Just shows again how out of touch the government is with the reality of the situation.




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