PUBLISHED : Saturday, 28 March, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 28 March, 2009, 12:00am

Glorifying young designer for mink coat sends the wrong message to society

The 'This winner's medal was fur real' article (Education Post, March 21) left me outraged and disgusted that Kap Chiu Yu-hang was glorified in such a manner. What sort of message does this give our society, and worse - our children who dream of becoming designers?

China's animal rights record is appalling and I am dismayed that Hong Kong has been set right alongside it as a supporter of such a vile and sickening industry as the fur trade.

Anyone unfamiliar with how fur is ripped off the body of a mink or fox, or any other animal for that matter, should visit the website of Peta (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals).

I have no doubt that Kap Chiu Yu-hang is a talented designer. However, supporting his and any other Hong Kong designer's choice of using fur lowers us to a despicable level of careless, cruel and selfish citizens with complete disregard for the lives of these beautiful creatures. They look far better with their fur on than any human being ever could.


Teachers in the dark over liberal studies syllabus

I am writing to express my views on an important subject, compulsory liberal studies in the new senior secondary curriculum, which will be implemented in September.

The syllabus for this subject is unclear. Up until now, without any past paper questions as a reference, who knows what type of content or skills will be tested? Teachers are baffled about what lectures should be comprised of.

Ultimately it is only the students who suffer. They may gain nothing after studying liberal studies for three years without proper guidance. The Education Bureau should therefore provide more courses and resources to teachers.

Courses with demonstrations of teaching and lecture notes to be distributed to students could be provided by the bureau, to show them the correct way of teaching and prevent the students from wasting their time for the three years.


HK got it right with new secondary curriculum

I salute the innovative new senior secondary curriculum (NSS). It is much improved with the incorporation of a liberal arts philosophy and the promotion of international citizenship.

It is more progressive than the system used in most international schools, which requires students to sit for two rounds of exams - IGCSE and IB.

Under the NSS system students sit for one round of public exams to receive their diploma of secondary education. The system allows students to continue straight on to four-year undergraduate university programmes in Hong Kong (starting 2012) and in most countries.

By contrast the IGCSE/IB system requires an additional year 13, which is an overlap of the first year in a four-year undergraduate programme. Hong Kong education has finally got it right.

MICHAEL LEW, concerned parent and educational psychologist

Effective anti-drugs strategy much needed

I refer to the article 'Anti-drugs musical tours schools' (Education Post , March 21). As we all know, juvenile drug use has become increasingly difficult to tackle. It is clear that present methods of fighting youth drug abuse are insufficient.

A new strategy is needed. Without a doubt, a musical with anti-drug messages is a friendly aid to teach students about leading a healthy life.

Through various types of education, such as musicals, students would receive anti-drug messages in an interesting way. Musicals help raise anti-drug awareness effectively and efficiently.

More and more anti-drugs musicals should be welcomed. Education is required to combat the threat to the well-being of our community.


Creationism row has offered nothing new

From the dean of science at HKU to the man in the street, I have yet to hear a compelling reason not to teach creationism next to evolution.

The point of education is less about giving students the 'right answers' as to teach students to ask the 'right questions'. The response of Professor Sun Kwok reinforces my sneaky suspicion that many Hong Kong educational establishments completely miss this most important aspect of education. Schools and universities should challenge students' thinking constantly, break set ways of perceiving things and stimulate young people's curiosity about everything.

Instead, we spoon feed them with whatever version of knowledge we subscribe to; our educational leaders feel threatened by alternative and different ways of looking at phenomena.

The product is that many in the street trot out the same banal and simplistic reasoning for taking challenge and choice out of education and defining 'science' and 'fact' as one, completely missing the fact that much of science is still an imputation of meaning on a set of observed data and this can change.

Intellectual humility will lead to more open minds. Let's see more of that for the sake of the next generation in our schools and universities. Teach our kids to ask questions and have many alternative perspectives on observed data, and let them draw their own conclusions.

KWEN IP, Sai Kung