Mr. Abert Kwok is my U of T alumnus, earning his MA (Economics) and MBA there the same time when I was there. After working for the Ontario Government briefly he returned to Hong Kong and had been a Senior Lecturer at the Hong Kong Polytechnical University until retirement. I would like to share his comments on this issue with you all, with the permission of Mr. Kwok. Henry Lee
Mr. Albert Kwok wrote:
I received two copies of ‘Moral and National Education Curriculum Guide’ Primary 1 to Secondary 6, English version (204 pages). Chinese (173 pages) from Education Bureau upon my request.
The Guide consists of 6 chapters, Introduction, Curriculum Framework, Curriculum Planning, Learning and Teaching, Assessment, and Learning and Teaching Resources, prepared by a Committee of 13 persons, chaired by Prof. Lee Chack Fan, together with Prof. Ma, Prof. Lau, school principles and teachers. (It could be the Lee Chack Fan, past vice-president of HKU, formerly of Ontario Hydro)
It is scholastic, with references stretching from page 161 to 203 for the English version.
Although the title constitutes National Education, the focus is more on Moral. The focus is to encourage the development of a better person, kind, tolerant, understanding, independent thinking, and continued education, through a number of years of ‘Liberal Education’.
The Government position is to let the Schools to decide (1) Whether they want to introduce. It is not mandatory.(2) If yes, the schools decide the Timing, and resources will be supplied, as you need additional teachers etc.(3) The Schools and teachers decide (a) what to teach (b) how to teach. They do not have to follow the Guidelines.
Therefore, in view of the above, and bearing in mind the hostile attitudes of many citizens, particularly the teachers, towards the Central Government, and many schools are under the control of Religous Bodies, which happen to be anti-Central Government, particularly the Catholics , anti-Central Government media, newspapers and magazines, and the political parties, it will be extremely difficult to ‘brain-wash’. The students, with the guidance of their parents, are not dumb either !
The position of the Anti-National Education Group is to force the Government to cancel the Project entirely, by threatening ‘Demonstrations’ in the weeks ahead.
The Goverment position borrows from the Hippies movement in the sixties ‘You do your thing, and I do mine, and if by chance, we meet – it is beautiful !’ I tend to embrace this position.
If you want to be ‘Vegetarians’, it is O.K. with me. But, don’t Change me