Change Hong Kong’s exam-oriented education system, not status of liberal studies
I refer to the article “Educators push liberal studies revamp”, published on May 7. Hong Kong students facing the challenge of the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (DSE) exam must tackle liberal studies as a compulsory subject and I think that’s a good thing. Liberal studies trains students to think critically and helps them to become responsible citizens. This subject is too important to be made an elective.
Students need critical thinking to tell right from wrong and to avoid being brainwashed. They should have the ability to assess diverse opinions; for example, on a divisive issue such as whether same-sex marriage should be allowed in Hong Kong.
Students need to make their own judgments and any attempt to downgrade liberal studies in the DSE could be seen as an attempt to weaken their ability to think critically, so that they can be controlled. The government should understand that it needs criticism and ideas from students to help improve society.
Some people think that students’ stress can be reduced if liberal studies is made optional. However, it’s the focus of our education system and the mindset of Hongkongers that should be changed – so that studying is not seen only as a means to pass exams but as a way to gain knowledge.
Winnie Tse, Tseung Kwan O