Saturday, 3 September 2011

More Concerns about National Education

There are more doubts as to how Hong Kong will implement the controversial national education course in all schools within two years.

As expected many teachers raised objections during the four-month consultation period that ended earlier this week.

The plan calls for all primary and secondary students in Hong Kong to include national education as a study subject though it has not been clarified as to what exactly the students should be learning and how.

Those for it in the pro-Beijing camp have criticized the city's education system for years saying there is not enough effort made to instill a sense of national identity in students, fearing they will be ostracized by the rest of the country. And those opposed are concerned about the true meaning behind national education, that it could be used for "brain-washing" purposes. There are also concerns of extra workloads for both teachers and students.

This proposal has been one of Donald Tsang's key objectives as Chief Executive, though he steps down next year. He is eager to show Beijing that he is heeding its suggestion that Hong Kong children learn more about Chinese culture (whatever that means).

The Federation of Education Workers which has 13,000 members says the plan should be a pilot scheme first before introducing to all schools, and that only one-third of schools should be involved in the first year.

Federation chairman Wong Kwan-yu said the government's time frame of two years was "unfeasible" and said that as many as 50 percent of teachers taking part in the survey opposed the proposal.

The organization's concerns are a political blow for Tsang, as it traditionally supports the government. The federation is the second-largest teachers' group in Hong Kong, after the Professional Teachers' Union which has already objected to the government's plan.

An advisory body is looking at the comments from the consultation process and will meet on September 15.

Meanwhile Hong Kong Association of Heads of Secondary Schools chairman Yuen Pong-yiu made a cryptic comment. He said the government should make sure students could think independently and critically.

Is he hinting he wants Hong Kong's children to be able to figure out what is propaganda and what isn't when they take this national education course?

1 comment:

  1. depending on the core content and an unbiased contemporary history of china and a truly comprehensive description of the state of china- i think it is a good idea. hong kong has been colonized over 150 years the people need to know the motherland more-the real facts though.