HK schools must infuse civic, moral values into all subjects under new framework to be revealed soon

02-Dec-2021 Intellasia | South China Morning Post | 5:02 AM Print This Post

Hong Kong schools will need to infuse civic values including law-abidingness and national identity into all subjects under a new teaching framework to address a “passive and self-indulgent mindset” in some young people, the Post has learned.

A source on Monday revealed details of the new requirements after Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung wrote in his blog the previous day that a committee would soon announce a trial version of the “Values Education Curriculum Framework” after deliberations lasting more than a year.

The framework would require all secondary and primary school subjects, including languages, cultural studies and even computing lessons, to be infused with nine moral and civic values, a committee member told the Post.

The scheme, which will replace the “Moral and Civic Education Curriculum Framework”, will add two new values, law-abidingness and empathy, to the existing seven perseverance, respect for others, responsibility, national identity, commitment, integrity, and care for others.

Yeung said the new framework was needed as he found the self-indulgent attitude of some young people and the trending idea of “laying flat” worrying. He was referring to an emerging lifestyle where young people reject hard work and adopt an indifferent attitude towards life.

“This passive mindset makes people feel dispirited and it finally hinders the development of society,” Yeung warned in his blog.

He said the Standing Committee on Values Education under the Curriculum Development Council would raise some outcomes that needed to be achieved at different learning stages. Yeung stressed that values education had to include patriotic education.

The source said the framework would provide abundant teaching materials and examples for teachers.

He said educators could instil those values in different ways, including during lessons, assemblies, in-school activities or visits to mainland China, provided they were taught properly.

“Students could be assessed by worksheets but not exams. If most of the students answer the questions correctly, it means the values are being taught successfully,” the source said.

Asked how such abstract values, particularly national identity, could be taught in music lessons, the source said teachers could introduce Chinese instruments to students or even invite a Chinese orchestra to perform in school to show them the beauty of the culture.

“The best way to teach national identity is by soft-selling Chinese culture,” the source said. “Therefore the Chinese language, the social studies subject in primary schools and the new subject of citizenship and social development are the focus for students to learn Chinese culture and ethics.”

A Chinese-language teacher who also sits on their school’s national education working group said the government’s other initiatives on national security education, which had overlapping topics with the new framework, were already keeping them occupied.

“We are already quite overwhelmed by different circulars and guidelines released by the Education Bureau,” the more than 10-year veteran said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

A liberal studies teacher, who also spoke on condition of anonymity, said some of the values were already being taught in schools but just had not been given sufficient attention.

“With such a high-profile framework, I think we teachers will now need to take it seriously and keep all the things we have done on record to get ready to be checked by officials,” she said.

Dr Wong Ching-yung, principal of Scientia Secondary School, also said the values were not new to teachers.

“The values are now just being highlighted and the value of law-abidingness is being emphasized. It is understandable for the government to heighten the sense of national identity among students,” he said.


Category: Hong Kong

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