Comprehensive museum should raise awareness

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 May, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 May, 2009, 12:00am

The first museum dedicated solely to education has opened at the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Featuring exhibits illustrating how education has evolved in the city over the decades and video interviews with veteran educators, the museum is intended to raise public awareness about the pivotal role played by education in the city's development.

From dog-eared textbooks used in the Qing dynasty to uniforms donned by students in the colonial days, the artifacts on display take visitors down memory lane to the era when schools were archaic courtyards furnished with ornate woodcarvings.

Michael Robinson, director of the museum, said the exhibits came from various sources.

'The bulk of the images and photos on display comes from individual donations,' he said.

'Some are on loan from the museum of history, heritage museum and local schools like Ying Wa College. Others come from the archives of the institute.'

Mr Robinson said a major part of the exhibition chronicled the establishment and future development of the institute.

Established in 1994, the institute was formed by merging five teaching colleges.

Offering specialised teaching training spanning a wide range of disciplines, the institute was thrust to the forefront of media attention when its quest for a university title was thwarted recently following the release of a report conducted by the University Grants Committee.

Mr Robinson said some of the exhibits would record the institute's long fight for the title change.

'The blueprint about the future development goals of the institute is also on display.'

With alumni, retired teachers and other educators recalling how their teaching career shaped their lives and those of their charges, Mr Robinson said the video interviews provided precious first-hand accounts of experiences of teaching.

At the opening ceremony of the museum, which was attended by Under Secretary for Education Kenneth Chen Wei-on last week, the institute's president Anthony Cheung Bing-leung said the intention was to reach out to the general public in Hong Kong through the museum in Tai Po.

'Instead of merely being a repository of artifacts, the museum would support the research on the history of education as well,' Mr Chen said.