Katherine Forestier
Katherine Forestier
Katherine Forestier is a journalist and education consultant. She is a former education editor of the Post.

In a project initiated by Pope Francis, education scholars propose how the world’s most demanding challenges – climate breakdown and rising intolerance, among them – should be met in the classroom.

Mistrust of government and a new emphasis on national education could be accelerating an exodus from Hong Kong as parents seek a brighter future abroad for their children.

Hong Kong should be embarrassed by the recent finding of too few women in academic research and senior management. This can change with an effort to promote interest in research among women and open the top jobs to capable women candidates.

The revamp of the much-despised schools testing is welcome, though it won’t solve the problem of over-drilling. Further, some form of system-wide assessment is still needed to enable improvements.


The success of girls in Hong Kong’s public exams and their dominance at university is cause for celebration, but it may be time to level the playing field for boys.

Twenty years of education reform in Hong Kong have produced successes, despite pressures over cost of living, minorities, special needs students and other concerns. Challenges remain, however, particularly meeting demands from students, parents – and mainland China

Chinese vs. British education was the billing for a recent BBC TV documentary about Chinese teachers in a secondary school in England. But academics doubt the performance of children in China can be replicated because it is reinforced by societal expectations and discipline. 


Hong Kong has been judged to have one of the best education systems in the world. In international assessments, such as the OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment, our students come consistently near the top.

Women have long broken through the glass ceiling in public life in Hong Kong. No one blinks an eye if the chief secretary for administration or the permanent secretary for education is a woman, and it might not be long before we have our first female chief executive.

There seems to be two ways of reforming the education system. The first is to listen to the views of those who have an interest in what goes on in schools: parents, students, employers and, of course, education professionals.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) boasts that "we stand with the top universities in the world" on its website - first in Hong Kong, first in Asia and 23rd in the world, according to one global league table it quotes.