Thursday, 26 January 2012

A Slight Reprieve

After all the uproar about making national education compulsory in Hong Kong schools as early as this year, a committee has now decided to put it off until 2015.

Last year the Education Bureau proposed introducing the curriculum into primary schools as early as this coming September and then secondary schools in the 2013-14 academic year.

However, the Moral and National Education Ad Hoc Committee has proposed postponing the program until the 2015-16 academic year.

This now gives schools three years to prepare the new curriculum and interestingly will not include such sensitive topics as the June 4, 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown.

However if schools were ready earlier they were more than welcome to introduce the course earlier.

The delay was probably caused by the strong opposition by schools and teachers who complained that the hasty introduction of national education was unrealistic.

Now the proposal goes to the government where it will consider the revised curriculum and implementation timetable.

Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen promised his Beijing bosses to improve Hong Kong students' knowledge of China in several policy addresses following remarks by President Hu Jintao on the importance of giving Hong Kong children a better understanding of the country's development and identity.

Depending on the students' ages, they would learn things such as the words to the national anthem, attend national flag-raising ceremonies, understand the Basic Law, support national sports teams and appreciate and understand Chinese culture.

Sounds very mainland, doesn't it.

Which is why critics like Catholic Cardinal Joseph Zen Ze-kiun and the pan-democratic camp say the curriculum amounts to brainwashing, while schools complained teachers are already overloaded with work.

This is what happens when a sycophant tries desperately to please his superiors and doesn't realize or doesn't care what the consequences will bring to the rest of the people.

Meanwhile the government chooses to ignore immediate problems at hand -- the growing tensions of having more mainlanders in the city and assuming Hong Kong to be just like China.

Shoving this kind of pro-China curriculum down students' throats -- or shall we say brains -- is only going to create more resentment.

Children already have enough to study, and now they have to take classes to learn how to be patriotic too?

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