A collection of Articles on the social controversy on the proposed subject of Moral and national Education.
Summary of the Preface
In the education history of Hong Kong, no issues have been more controversial than the launch of moral and national education in the last six months. The debatable curriculum on the subject sparked off a social dispute which escalated to street confrontations tearing up the community. The dispute subsided only after the government relinquished this curriculum.
Right from the beginning, HKAHSS has paid close attention to the development of moral and national education such as its goals, content, implementation, resources and assessment and has given our opinions publicly. Now that the government has withdrawn the curriculum and the political disputes surrounding it has died down for more than three months, it is timely to re-examine moral and national education from an educational angle.
We compile this special publication for four reasons:
- To trace the development of the dispute and its core issues;
- To sum up significance of and lessons learnt from the dispute;
- To deepen HKAHSS’s study and suggestions on moral and national education rendered in the last eighteen months in order to explore a form of moral and national education that will suit Hong Kong;
- To promote reflection and exchange among members of HKAHSS Executive Committee, secondary school principals and educators on moral and national education.
Appended in this publication are the open letters and articles, reflections, conclusions and outlooks written by members of our Executive Committee. On top of them, there is also Professor Cheng Kai Ming’s insightful opinion on the launch of moral and national education in Hong Kong.
We believe that good education will inspire our next generation to discover truth and realize their ideals. The responsibility to explore how to benefit our students with moral and national education falls on the shoulders of the present day educators.
Chronology of events related to the launch of the moral and national education subject curriculum (10/2010 – 11/2012)
|The Chief Executive (CE) in his Policy Address announced the launch of moral and national education (MNE) as an independent subject in 2013-14
|The Education Bureau (EDB) released the consultation draft on the Moral and National Education Curriculum Guide (Primary 1 to Secondary 6) (‘the MNE Curriculum Guide’)
|The EDB held 8 consultation sessions on the MNE Curriculum Guide inviting educators and the public to submit their opinion and suggestions on or before 31/8/2011.
|Scholarism, an organization formed by students of the 90’s generation, was established.
|Scholarism organized its first demonstration.
|The Executive Committee of the HKAHSS submitted a written opinion on the MNE Curriculum Guide to the government.
|Scholarism organized another demonstration.
|Scholarism held a press conference; students initiated a signature campaign against brain-washing.
|The EDB released the finalized MNE Curriculum Guide which stated that the curriculum will become an independent subject for Primary 1 to Secondary 3.
|Scholarism organized its third demonstration.
|The National Education Service Centre distributed a handbook entitled ‘The China Model’ to all primary and secondary schools.
|Scholarism started a petition movement; 20 secondary school students walked in a procession to the Hong Kong Examinations and Assessment Authority in Wanchai.
|Scholarism participated in the July 1 demonstration.
|The National Education Parents’ Concern Group was established.
|Parents published a statement in the newspapers calling for the withdrawal of the subject of the Moral and National Education.
|The National Education Parents’ Concern Group and the Secretary for Education Eddie Ng held a meeting but no consensus was reached.
|The Civil Opposition to National Education Alliance (CONEA) organized a mass demonstration; 90,000 people participated.
|The Chief Secretary Carrie Lam announced the plan to establish the Committee on the Initiation of Moral and National Education Subject (CIMNES) and invited representatives from different sectors to join the Committee.
|The Executive Committee of the HKAHSS published an open letter to the Secretary for Education and held a press conference explaining their position and suggestions on the MNE Curriculum Guide.
|The government announced the establishment of CIMNES and appointed Ms. Anna Wu, member of the Executive Council and Chairperson of the Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority, to head the Committee. Mr. Michael Wong Wai Yu, Honorary Advisor of the HKAHSS, represented the Association on the Committee.
|Scholarism organized an action to occupy the Central Government Offices. Three members of Scholarism went on a hunger strike for 56 hours.
|The HKAHSS Executive Committee held a forum for school principals to exchange views on the development of the disputes and ways to deal with the impacts of student strike and school boycott.
|CONEA organized a civic education commencement ceremony rally at the Central Government Offices. More people joined the hunger strike relay.
|The Executive Committee of the HKAHSS wrote to Ms. Anna Wu, the Chairperson of CIMNES, making three recommendations to her.
|The CE met with the representatives of HKAHSS and other school councils to hear their opinions.
|CONEA organized ‘The City in Black’ action. 120,000 people took part in the anti-national education rally at the Central Government Offices in the evening.
|HKAHSS Chairman Dr. Yuen Pong Yiu broadcast ‘An open letter to the children in the square’ in RTHK Radio 1’s programme, Letter to Hong Kong.
|The government announced the withdrawal of the three-year deadline for the National Education Curriculum. Schools have the discretion to decide whether to implement the MNE subject. The MNE Curriculum Guide remained.
|CONEA ended the rally outside the Central Government Offices at midnight.
|The Hong Kong Federation of Students organized a class boycott. 8,000 students and faculty members of higher education institutions participated in a rally at the University Mall of the Chinese University of Hong Kong.
|The Executive Committee of the HKAHSS wrote to all major media expressing its response to the government’s change of policy on the MNE subject.
|Mr. Michael Wong Wai Yu, HKAHSS’s Honorary Advisor and representative to CIMNES, wrote to the Committee’s Chairperson Ms. Anna Wu suggesting a development of national education that suits Hong Kong.
|Mr. Michael Wong Wai Yu, HKAHSS’s Honorary Advisor and representative to CIMNES, published an article titled ‘Recommendations for resolving the dilemma of moral and national education’ in Ming Pao.
|The government accepted the recommendations of CIMNAS and formally shelved the MNE Curriculum Guide.
|The HKAHSS held its Annual General Meeting during which Professor Cheng Kai Ming gave a talk entitled ‘ME & MNE’