National education in Hong Kong

Hong Kong needs to take lessons in Chinese history, so past mistakes are not repeated

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2018, 7:03pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 October, 2018, 7:07pm

I am writing in response to the letter from Alan Crawley, “Teach Hong Kong children all aspects of Chinese history, even Cultural Revolution excesses” (September 15).

It is well known that many policy mistakes had been made by the Communist Party of China decades ago, including the Cultural Revolution mentioned by Mr Crawley and the June 4 incident. These were events set in motion by the Communist Party. If Chairman Mao Zedong hadn’t unleashed the attacks on teachers and intellectuals, there would not have been economic and educational retrogression in China. If the military force hadn’t brought out tanks to quell the student unrest in Beijing, then no one would have been complaining about the central government.

Voices from Tiananmen

When I was small, teachers tried to avoid talking about these topics. However, does that mean people really don’t know what happened in the past?

Watch: Still ashamed of my part in Mao's Cultural Revolution

How political hatred during Cultural Revolution led to murder and cannibalism in a small town in China

We should know more about our history, because we need to learn from past mistakes and only history can help us do this. If the government bans schools from letting students know more, then the city or the country will remain stagnant since they cannot learn from past mistakes.

There are people arguing over whether Chinese history should have been made a compulsory subject in secondary schools. As a secondary school student, I believe this was the right thing to do. This subject is important to our nation. We should not be blind to the facts, nor prevented from knowing the truth. On the contrary, we ought to find out the facts for ourselves, so that we do not repeat the mistakes of history over and over again.

Jordan Chan, Tseung Kwan O