Bid to promote quality life
An academic has criticised schools for placing too much emphasis on language and information technology while neglecting other aspects of education.
Professor Peter Ng Tze-ming of the Department of Religion at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CU), said subjects such as ethics, civic and religious education - which promote the concept of a quality life - should be given more support.
He was speaking at the launch of a CU project which aims to strengthen teaching of those three subjects in secondary schools.
The year-long scheme has received a $6 million grant from the Quality Education Fund.
The project includes Internet resources, intensive courses for teachers, a teaching module contest and a carnival.
Professor Ng said: 'Ethics, civic and religious education are three important aspects in developing a student's personality.
'A quality life is not only about how well you live, but cultivating positive moral values and learning to treasure your life and other people's lives.' The results of a survey which focused on problems faced by secondary schools with regard to their ethics, civic and religious curriculum were also revealed.
A total of 993 teachers from 183 schools responded to the study, which was carried out between October and November last year.
Fifty-seven per cent of the respondents agreed the curriculum was important for personal growth. However, 88 per cent said teachers lacked proper training.
Aids personal growth Professor Ng said he hoped CU's Web site would help them exchange views on teaching and other problems. Students can also access the homepage and express their opinions .
The site, at http://www. school.net.hk/~ecre/, also consists of mock questions aimed at students who are taking religion in the HKCEE and A-levels next year.
Woo Wai-ki, lay chaplain at SKH Tsang Shiu Tim Secondary School, said: 'There are plenty of social issues that can be discussed in class, such as marriage, single-parent families, sex education, drug problems, and playing truant.
'Covering them up is not right. Rather, talking about them openly is the only way to help students face up to their problems.'