I grew up in Hong Kong. I did all my schooling here. So how is it that I can recall more than 2,400 American soldiers died at Pearl Harbour, but when asked how many Hong Kong civilians lost their lives under Japanese occupation I draw a blank? The finer points of late US president Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal are firmly embedded in my mind, as is the order in which Henry VIII married his wives. But what sparked our city’s 1967 riots ? No idea. Or at least, no one taught me about it in school. My ignorance of my own home is equal parts astounding and shameful. Even more so given the escalation of political upheaval here since 2014. It is lamentable that my so-called world-class education provided me with so little understanding of how we arrived at the “ umbrella movement ”, let alone the Lord of the Flies situation at Polytechnic University last November. I have had to learn that for myself. Which begs the question, why is Hong Kong history not taught at the secondary school level in Hong Kong’s so-called – and so-priced – fancypants international schools? It is understandable that priority is given to foreign curriculums catering to expats and local students who wish to study abroad, but surely some commitment to local society needs to be made. We may have inherited our prep-school curricula from the best Britain has to offer, but do we need Britain’s historical myopia too? To an extent, Hong Kong history is addressed at the primary and middle school levels, but outside a few field trips around the territory, there are no substantial courses aimed at informing young adult minds about how international this city has always been. And with our new National Security Law having been passed, leading to books on local politics being pulled off school library shelves “for review”, things do not look like they are about to get any better. International schools proudly tout “diverse” student bodies, but as one of only five South Asians graduating from a cohort of more than 200 students not so long ago, I can attest that these claims of diversity are exaggerated. And as for that recent news of the N-word being tossed around campus like a worn-out rugby ball, I hate to say I am not at all surprised. If the tumult of 2020, from the Hong Kong protests to Black Lives Matter , has taught us anything, it should be that we need to do better when it comes to broadening perspectives, at an institutional level. Especially at a time when Hong Kong education, at all levels, is looking down the barrel of the gun of revisionism.