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  • Dec 29, 2014
  • Updated: 7:23pm
My Take
PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 09 October, 2012, 8:49am

Time to end national education row

The furore over national education will hopefully come to an end. Both sides seem to have reached an amicable settlement in which the government was allowed a face-saving way to admit defeat. As announced by Anna Wu Hung-yuk, the head of the government's task force on the subject, schools may decide on their own how to pursue national education. However, the official 200-plus-page guideline has been declared "invalidated" and will not be replaced with another one. Officials are therefore able to claim national education remains part of our school curriculum while effectively dropping it.

To the credit of an alliance of parents, students and activists, they have understood the reality behind the government's claim and have softened their stance. Earlier, they threatened to stage another mass rally outside the Legislative Council next week if the government did not scrap the subject. Instead, they will now hold a meeting rather than a protest. But yesterday, representative after representative said they now accepted the government's position, subject to conditions.

"From the very beginning, we targeted the guideline as the basis of national education," said Joshua Wong Chi-fung, convenor of the student group Scholarism.

Now that the guideline has been shelved, he said they had achieved their purpose. Young Joshua has shown wisdom beyond his years in translating victories on the battlefield into a diplomatic surrender for the government.

Continuing their protest would do no good. The crisis has politicised campuses across the city and disrupted normal schooling. The alliance says it will continue to monitor schools that may try to slip propaganda materials into their classes by giving them different labels. We hope this will not become some kind of "white terror" in which teachers and principals are denounced for teaching materials unapproved by the alliance.

There is room to teach national education, or better, contemporary Chinese history in our schools. But given the sensitivity, parents and individual school officials need to consult and work with each other, now that they are free to do what they want with the subject without the straitjacket of a government guideline. It's time to put this crisis behind us.


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This article is now closed to comments

What Hong Kong needs is to rid itself of the colonial mentality. Instilling loyalty to the country is fundamental to the existence of any society, otherwise there is no root. The fear of being indoctrinated is an imaginary facade more for political mileage. Hong Kong has gone through this mental condition for the last 150 years under British Colonial rule. I have a stake as I have two grandsons going through the system. I always instill into them loyalty and integrity.
Hk people are too complacent with all problems such as aging population and how to substain growth; poor people; medical system (when u visit public hospital you will understand) and our overall competitiveness in the world and pollution, just name a few. Please choose a battle to fight with more fruitful potential and not wasting our resource....I'm a middle class but too many middle class in Hk is not aware of all these long term problems that is critical to tackle.
No Alex, this is just the beginning of the battle. Now we must rid ourselves of all the propaganda china trips and teaching materials that have seeped into our schools over the years and far before this national education mess. If you want to move on then first give us real democracy...
What is real democracy? Giving the uneducated people like Long Hair Leung and these loud yelling kids the opportunity to take over? HK would be then in chaos and experience its' downfall for centuries. The current government of HK is already helpless due to all the blockades in the Legco and public by those groups. Stagnation over stagnation and incapable of governing and ruling. When it is getting worse, when those people taking over and openly fighting each other in a bad manner how to run this city and which way to go, who is then going to pulling HK out of the sh.t?
What real democracy in SAR China? Only if we control our economical destiny as we are relying on china economy too much....think.
Wait until yuan is fully convertible China will dump Hk and by then you will have freedom...
Let's be pragmatic and face the reality that after some years, "yuan is fully convertible". Whether "China will dump HK" would depends on how HK positions itself. If HK people still obsess in focusing on "nonsense" issues (such as preserving lands for farming in NT, anti-national education, Mainland's interference by sending rescue ship to HK, etc) and neglecting important issues (such as developing HK to become an International metropolitan city), HK would dump itself into a second or third class city and no one would be able to lift HK up again.


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