Should the government revoke the national education? After the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong from Britain to China in 1997, ‘One Country, Two Systems’ is proposed in ruling Hong Kong. In order to promote national awareness and allowing students know more about national identity, the Hong Kong government proposed to add a subject of moral and national education. However, there was a huge controversy over the plan for the new subject.
In the past sixteen years, Hong Kong people have been conducted a great deal of interviews and surveys about their consciousness of national identity. Regarding the geography, the history, culture and political, Hong Kong is part of China. Nevertheless, the result of random telephone survey indicated 38% of the participants who speak Cantonese in Hong Kong of age 18 or above considered to be Hangovers, 23% were being Chinese. 24% of respondents regarded themselves as Hangovers in China, while 12% as Chinese in Hong Kong. Besides, the strength of people’s identity as Chinese was 6. 0 marks, which is the lowest since June 1999 (The Public Opinion Programmer at the University of Hong Kong, 2013). The research indicates that they have stronger feelings of being a Honoring rather than Chinese. The Curriculum Development Council (2009) has reported that “to be an informed and responsible citizen with a sense of global and national Identity” Is one of the major objectives In education reform. Therefore, the Curriculum Development Council (2012) noted that the one of the purposes of moral and nation education is promoting the recognition of identity.
Students might build identities in the “family, society, the country and the world” They play a role as “responsible family members, citizens, nationals and global citizens”. Through the national education, students are expected to familiarize themselves with the situations of China and love their nation. However, the National Education Services Center published a handbook entitled ‘The China Model” as a sample teaching material. However, the content might biased In favor of China. According to Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies of Hong Kong Baptist university (2012, p. 0), “advanced, selfless and united ruling group” was used to describe the Communist Party, while criticizing Democratic and Republican Parties as a “fierce inter-party rivalry that makes the people suffer”. Some opponents believe the national education might attempts to brainwash the students’ minds. As a result, the plan of having national education met with fierce opposition. The next consideration is the informal civic education in Hong Kong. Part of the knowledge was taught in after-class activities rather than formal education of school subjects.
Civic education might be regarded as citizenship education. The implementation is usually not as in-depth as that of discussions included in citizenship education literature. In the new senior secondary curriculum, civic education still remains peripheral (Chon, 2009). Compared with the original flexible schedule for in-depth analyses during lessons. It is believed that students can understand the subject more comprehensively. Rhea validity of national education has, however, been challenged by Chemung (2010), No doubted the necessity of national education.
Based on people’s speculations, the national education might be similar to the original civic education curriculum. Part of the teaching contents in national education is overlapped with the General Studies and Liberal Studies such as people’s ethnic identity, responsibility and commitment. Some antagonists believe that having an independent subject of national education is waste of time and also the government resources It is clear that there are both advantages and disadvantages to having nation education in Hong Kong.
Students’ national identities would be strengthened. They might familiarize themselves with the national situation and understand the teaching contents of moral and national education. On the contrary, the subject might be biased towards China and also overlapping with other subjects. Some of the potential problems can be eased. Teachers are able to choose their own teaching kits. The May Fourth Movement, the Culture revolution and even the Attainment incident can be included in the lessons. It is no use to worry about the biased subject.
Moreover, each subject has their own teaching purpose. Nation Education aims at nurturing students’ morals and patriotism. It is different from having General Studies and Liberal Studies. Raking these arguments into consideration, I believe that having national education can enrich students’ knowledge due to in-depth teaching in the lessons. National education should be encouraged in the secondary schools. Reference Advanced Institute for Contemporary China Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University. 2012). The China Model.