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中英社評/正本清源第一課 教育展現新氣象

時間:2021-09-20 04:28:32來源:大公报

With kick-off classes to overhaul thoroughly, [HK] education gets a refresh new look

  新學年開始,香港教育展現新氣象。「公民與社會發展科」正式在中學推行,受到了學生和老師們的歡迎。從課堂上師生的深入問答互動,到課後熱烈地分享感受,足證公民教育第一課取得了良好的效果。當然,這只是一個開始,培養學生對國家民族的認同感,仍有許多工作要做,需要全社會的共同努力。

  公民科分三大主題,分別是「一國兩制」下的香港、改革開放以來的國家、互聯相依的當代世界。由於是新生事物,暫時沒有教科書,如何教學由校方及老師根據教育局指引和相關網頁的課件決定,因此有教師擔心教不好。但實際上,從昨日教學的實際效果來看,只要根據教育局提供的大綱及教學素材,充分作出準備,這一課沒有想像中的困難。例如,漢華中學的公民科第一課是從鴉片戰爭引入,講解香港問題的由來;優才書院等則從香港國安法切入,講解維護國家安全的重要性,效果都非常好。

  有同學表示,對這一課的最大感受是,香港是中國不可分離的一部分,香港人也是國家的一分子;有同學認為,公民科的獨特之處在於可學習到憲法和基本法,可以幫助同學們深入思考,增強國民身份認同。漢華中學校長對實現教育目標信心十足,強調認識香港、認識國家應該從公民科做起,鞏固學生對香港歷史、國家和世界發展的基礎知識,老師也能透過備課加深對國情的認識。

  以公民科取代備受詬病的通識科,是香港教育改革的重要舉措。近年來,大批年輕人不是專心學習,而是醉心街頭,參與各種反政府活動甚至違法活動,癥結在於教育出了問題。而通識科在別有用心者的操弄之下,更淪為「洗腦」工具,年輕人成為最大的受害者。取消通識科早已是社會共識。公民科擔負着培養學生國家和民族認同感的重任,意義重大。

  不少老師希望教育局提供更多的教育資源,最好有標準教材,這完全可以理解。據了解,教材已在積極準備當中,好快就會出版。其實,公民科教育不必限於教材,現實生活中的素材可謂俯拾皆是。就拿東京奧運會為例,女乒團體賽中,國家隊和香港隊健兒一起站上領獎台,在雄壯的國歌聲中,國旗及區旗同時升起,是香港與祖國共享榮光的寫照。又如今日,香港學生將與我國航天員「天地對話」,從中可以了解到國家在航天科技上的飛躍發展,身為中國人的自豪感油然而生,同樣是鮮活的公民科教育素材。

  公民科的成功落實,意味着香港教育改革邁出了關鍵的一步。但要真正走穩這一步,未來還需要更多的舉措配合,包括加強對教師的培訓,持續改進與優化課程等等。根本目的,是要幫助香港青少年建立對「一國兩制」的價值認同,培養學生對國家及民族的情感認同。這既是香港由亂到治、由治到興的現實要求,更是香港社會各界的共同責任。

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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