Chinese history should be made compulsory in Hong Kong schools

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 18 February, 2017, 12:16am
UPDATED : Saturday, 18 February, 2017, 10:25pm

I agree with Li Sheung-yi that young people in Hong Kong should have a better understanding of Chinese history (“It is important to learn about nation’s past”, January 22).

In September 2014, young people in Hong Kong launched the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement to seek universal suffrage. Its organisers were even accused of calling for an independent Hong Kong. This is really impracticable, as Hong Kong has always been part of China.

If they study Chinese history properly, they will learn why the city was only subject to British colonial rule for 156 years; and had to be returned to China on July 1, 1997.

By studying Chinese history, young people will learn to better appreciate their roots, what happened in the past, and what sacrifices our city made to become what it is today.

Students who study Chinese history often have to possess a critical mind and thinking skills, as they often have to do a great deal of independent work and analysis, as well as a large amount of reading and writing.

Chinese history reflects how the nation developed over time. Without this proper understanding, young people will continue to fight for independence, which is an impossible goal.

A student interviewed by TV reporters during Occupy was asked why he skipped Primary Six classes to join the movement, and he simply answered that he did not want Hong Kong to become another China. This seriously showed youngsters today lack an understanding of the development of Hong Kong.

If young people are made aware of our nation’s past, they will not stage unnecessary protests and rallies as they have done in recent years. Therefore, the Education Bureau should look at making Chinese history a compulsory subject in local schools.

When young people have in-depth knowledge of the nation’s history, they will learn to appreciate our city more, instead of staging protests for independence.

Eunice Li Dan Yue, Shanghai