The teachers’ union says mixing Hong Kong issues into different topics will only give a confusing picture to students. Photo: RTHK
Joanne Wong reports
The Professional Teachers’ Union (PTU) has criticised the newly revised Chinese history syllabus for junior secondary students, saying it goes against Chief Executive Carrie Lam’s declared vision for youth in the city.
In her election campaign Lam had said she wanted young people to become a generation who would love Hong Kong, have a sense of national identity and develop a global vision.
But Cheung Wong from the PTU’s Education Research Department told an RTHK programme that the government-appointed advisory body’s recommendation to interlace Hong Kong issues into different topics will only give a confusing picture to students.
Cheung said students should learn about China and the world from what is happening around them and through Hong Kong’s experience.
The new curriculum says students should learn Hong Kong’s role in China’s opening up from the 1970s, and there won’t be a separate chapter on Hong Kong history. Critics have said that it ignores sensitive issues like the 1967 riots in Hong Kong and the 1989 Tiananmen massacre.
The Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung, who also took part in the programme, defended the new syllabus, saying most of the teachers consulted by the advisory panel supported the arrangement.
He also said students can better understand Hong Kong’s relationship with the mainland by learning about how the city has played a part in the country’s development.
He said although the revisions will only be implemented in the 2020- 21 academic year, schools wanting to start the curriculum early are welcome to do so.
But Yeung said publishers and authors of current Chinese history textbooks will need time to make adjustments, and teachers will need training to get a grasp of what the new curriculum is like.