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中英社评/正本清源第一课 教育展现新气象

2021-09-20 04:28:32大公报
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With kick-off classes to overhaul thoroughly, [HK] education gets a refresh new look

  新学年开始,香港教育展现新气象。“公民与社会发展科”正式在中学推行,受到了学生和老师们的欢迎。从课堂上师生的深入问答互动,到课后热烈地分享感受,足证公民教育第一课取得了良好的效果。当然,这只是一个开始,培养学生对国家民族的认同感,仍有许多工作要做,需要全社会的共同努力。

  公民科分三大主题,分别是“一国两制”下的香港、改革开放以来的国家、互联相依的当代世界。由于是新生事物,暂时没有教科书,如何教学由校方及老师根据教育局指引和相关网页的课件决定,因此有教师担心教不好。但实际上,从昨日教学的实际效果来看,只要根据教育局提供的大纲及教学素材,充分作出准备,这一课没有想像中的困难。例如,汉华中学的公民科第一课是从鸦片战争引入,讲解香港问题的由来;优才书院等则从香港国安法切入,讲解维护国家安全的重要性,效果都非常好。

  有同学表示,对这一课的最大感受是,香港是中国不可分离的一部分,香港人也是国家的一分子;有同学认为,公民科的独特之处在于可学习到宪法和基本法,可以帮助同学们深入思考,增强国民身份认同。汉华中学校长对实现教育目标信心十足,强调认识香港、认识国家应该从公民科做起,巩固学生对香港历史、国家和世界发展的基础知识,老师也能透过备课加深对国情的认识。

  以公民科取代备受诟病的通识科,是香港教育改革的重要举措。近年来,大批年轻人不是专心学习,而是醉心街头,参与各种反政府活动甚至违法活动,症结在于教育出了问题。而通识科在别有用心者的操弄之下,更沦为“洗脑”工具,年轻人成为最大的受害者。取消通识科早已是社会共识。公民科担负着培养学生国家和民族认同感的重任,意义重大。

  不少老师希望教育局提供更多的教育资源,最好有标准教材,这完全可以理解。据了解,教材已在积极准备当中,好快就会出版。其实,公民科教育不必限于教材,现实生活中的素材可谓俯拾皆是。就拿东京奥运会为例,女乒团体赛中,国家队和香港队健儿一起站上领奖台,在雄壮的国歌声中,国旗及区旗同时升起,是香港与祖国共享荣光的写照。又如今日,香港学生将与我国航天员“天地对话”,从中可以了解到国家在航天科技上的飞跃发展,身为中国人的自豪感油然而生,同样是鲜活的公民科教育素材。

  公民科的成功落实,意味着香港教育改革迈出了关键的一步。但要真正走稳这一步,未来还需要更多的举措配合,包括加强对教师的培训,持续改进与优化课程等等。根本目的,是要帮助香港青少年建立对“一国两制”的价值认同,培养学生对国家及民族的情感认同。这既是香港由乱到治、由治到兴的现实要求,更是香港社会各界的共同责任。

2021-09-03

Hong Kong's education gains a refresh new look with the start of the new academic year. The subject of Citizenship and Social Development (CSD) is formally introduced in secondary schools, which is well received by students and teachers. It is evident that the kick-off civic education classes have achieved good results, as seen from students and teachers' in-depth Q&A (questions and answers) interactions in class to their enthusiastically sharing understandings and feelings after class. Needless to say, this is just the beginning. There are still a lot more to be done, which calls for whole society's joint efforts.

The CSD curriculum comprises three themes, namely Hong Kong under "One Country, Two Systems", Our Country since Reform and Opening-up and Interconnectedness and Interdependence of the Contemporary World. It is a fresh new subject. Hence there is no off-the-shelf textbook for the time being, and it is for schools and teachers concerned to decide on how to teach the subject based on the Education Bureau's (EDB) curriculum guide and courseware on relevant websites. As a result, some teachers are concerned with the teaching effects. Yet in practice, in view of yesterday's actual teaching effects, teaching this subject is not as difficult as imagined, so long as the curriculum guide and teaching materials provided by the EDB are followed to make full preparations. For instance, Hon Wah College's first CSD class started with the Opium War to explain the origin of the Hong Kong issue, while G.T. (Ellen Yeung) College and some other schools began with the Hong Kong National Security Law to explain the importance of safeguarding national security. They have all achieved very good effects.

[After the classes] a student expressed her deep comprehension that Hong Kong is an inseparable part of China and the Hong Kong people are part of the nation. Another student thought the CSD subject was unique because it offered the opportunity for students to learn the national Constitution and the Basic Law and helped students to think deeply to enhance their national identity. The Principal of Hon Wah College was fully confident about attaining the teaching objectives, stressing that understanding Hong Kong and understanding the nation should start with the CSD to consolidate students' basic knowledge about Hong Kong's history, the nation and world development, and that teachers could also deepen their understanding of the national circumstances through preparing for teaching the subject.

It is a significant move in Hong Kong's educational reform to replace the highly-criticised Liberal Studies (LS) with the CSD subject. In recent years, a large number of young people have failed to concentrate on studies but seemed bent on taking to the streets to take part in various kinds of anti-government and even unlawful activities. The crux of this problem lies in that something has gone wrong with our education. Manipulated by some people with ulterior motives, the LS subject has fallen into a "brain washing" instrument, with young people becoming the greatest victims. Removing the LS subject has long been a social consensus. The CSD subject now takes up the heavy responsibility of fostering students' national recognition and sense of national identity. It is of great significance.

Many teachers hope that the EDB could provide more teaching resources, and that it is better to have standard textbooks. This is quite understandable. It is learned that textbooks are being busily prepared and will soon be published. As a matter of fact, CSD teaching may not necessarily be confined to textbooks, as teaching materials can be found everywhere in daily life. Taking the Tokyo Olympic Games for examples, both the nation's and Hong Kong's women's table tennis teams stepped up on the podium together, as both the national flag and regional flag  were steadily rising amid the majestic national anthem. This is the epitome of Hong Kong and the Motherland sharing glory. Another example is that Hong Kong students will hold "an Earth-Heaven dialogue" with our country's Taikonauts today. From this they could gain knowledge about our country's advance by leaps and bounds in aerospace science and technology, with the pride of being Chinese nationals spontaneously welling up in their hearts. This is also vivid CSD educational stuff.

The successful implementation of the CSD subject is meant reform in Hong Kong's education has moved forward a crucial step. But for this step to be taken steadily and stably, it needs support with more measures, such as strengthening training teachers and steadily improving and optimising the curriculum, etc. The ultimate aim is to help young people to secure value identification with "one country two systems", and to foster students' sense of national identity. This is a realistic requirement for Hong Kong to restore order from chaos and then progress from order to reinvigoration, and furthermore the shared responsibility of all social sectors in Hong Kong.

03 September 2021

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