Tune in, turn on and love people

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 01 November, 2003, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 01 November, 2003, 12:00am

It's called The Silent Melody of Love. It's all about encouraging students to have relationships, and promoted by the Education and Manpower Bureau . . . but it has nothing to do with sex.

So what is it? The Silent Melody is a raunchy sounding English translation of an otherwise rather pedestrian outreach programme that seeks 'to instil affection among students for others'.

Chief Curriculum Development Officer Cheung Wing-hung said the campaign aimed to reorientate emoral and civic education in Hong Kong away from placing too much emphasis on knowledge.

'We want to adopt a life experience approach to help students develop values such as respect for others, self-discipline and sense of responsibility,'' he said.

Schools were being encouraged to organise groups such as Scouts and boys' and girls' brigades to help foster positive values among students. 'There are various contexts in which students can learn about moral virtues, whether in school, at home, in social settings or in commuity work,'' Mr Cheung said.

'Students may resist moral and civic education if ideas are simply imposed on them. It's better for them to develop virtures such as empathy for others naturally during the education process.''

The Education and Manpower Bureau (EMB) is inviting schools to join a scheme under which teachers from eight schools that have demonstrated success in promoting moral and civic education share their experiences with others.

'By means of sharing of experience to pool the wisdom of masses, schools can be better informed of how to put theory into practice conducive to effective promotion of school-based moral and civic education [sic],'' an EMB circular issued to schools said this week in rather poor English.

So what does it all have to do with The Silent Melody of Love?

Not a lot apparently. 'It comes from a Chinese poem and the translation into English is difficult,' Mr Cheung said.