Central govt should set up special agencies in HK to enhance Chinese history education: NPC deputy

By Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi Source:Global Times Published: 2020/5/19 13:15:06


The central government should establish special agencies in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) to improve Chinese history education and enhance a sense of national identity among local students. These could be either government agencies or non-profit organizations through which the mainland could dispatch teachers or experts to the SAR, a Hong Kong deputy to the National People's Congress (NPC) told the Global Times. 

Young Hong Kong people lack an understanding of the country's history, culture and current affairs, while local education institutions have been struggling with a lack of teachers, and we hope the central government can help us tackle this problem, Tam Yiu-chung, former chairman of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and an NPC deputy, told the Global Times in a recent interview. 

"Establishing government agencies or non-profit organizations to push forward forward Chinese history and culture education among young people in Hong Kong will be suggested, and there are many mainland experts in this field, who could be assigned to Hong Kong to offer help," Tam said. 

Hong Kong's education system has come under the spotlight in recent days after an inappropriate question appeared in the history test from the Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education Examination on Thursday, asking students whether Japan did more good than harm to China during the 1900-1945 period, which covered the period of Japan's colonization of and invasion in China. 

The test question sparked calls for stricter supervision of the curriculum and examination system. Some experts slammed the question, claiming it was just as ridiculous as asking European students whether Hitler did more good than harm to Europe.

Carrie Lam, chief executive of the HKSAR government, reiterated at a press conference on Tuesday the SAR government's commitment to education, claiming that some people are still making irresponsible remarks on the inappropriate question in the history test, which is deeply regretful and disappointed.

The official also vowed to ensure every student accepts the right education, the reports said. 

Some of Hong Kong's deputies to the NPC and members of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) are expected to address the issue of Hong Kong's long-existing flaws in the national education system at the upcoming two sessions in Beijing. 

Tam noted that in Hong Kong, even some history teachers have an incorrect understanding of Chinese history. For instance, a teacher from Ho Lap Primary School told students that the first Opium War, which started in 1840 and resulted in China ceding Hong Kong Island to Britain, was the result of Britain's attempt to stop opium smoking in China, media reported. 

"This is absolutely wrong. They tried to turn things upside down, and are obviously not the facts. As a result, it's highly necessary to push forward the establishment of special agencies to improve national education," he said. 

The deputy also suggested that Greater Bay Area authorities consider establishing primary or secondary schools that have mutually recognizable qualifications with Hong Kong schools to provide "another educational choice" in the area. He also suggested that more young Hong Kong people be offered training opportunities in the mainland, and take part in history and cultural exchanges with the mainland as a practical project for Hong Kong schools.

Newspaper headline: NPC deputy urges special education agencies in HK


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