National education is a must, says Wang

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 June, 2011, 12:00am

National education curriculums should foster local students' understanding of why communist rule on the mainland is important.

That is according to Wang Guangya, director of the State Council's Hong Kong and Macau Affairs Office. Speaking at a youth forum on Monday, Wang said the mainland set up national education teaching materials. He conceded, however, that some of them may not fully be applicable to Hong Kong.

'But I believe there are some basic elements. One is Chinese history,' he said. 'Secondly, there should be an understanding of China's contemporary history, especially about what happened in the past 150 to 200 years.'

Wang added that if young people lacked such knowledge, they might find it difficult to understand why China has chosen to follow the way of socialism since 1949.

'Don't take it negatively when you hear the phrase national education,' he added.

Democratic Party lawmaker Cheung Man-kwong said Wang's remarks showed his political bias in his education agenda.

The Education Bureau might make it compulsory for schools to spend up to 50 hours each academic year on national education.

Wang left Hong Kong yesterday evening after a three-day visit.

Additional reporting by Phila Siu