Saturday, September 1, 2012


To make a long story short: The topic of "National Education" is under discussion for weeks here in Hong Kong. Many parents are worried & do not want to even consider to implement that scheme at all. Do not forget: In Hong Kong children are the insurance for the parents when being old. So children are like "little gods" here (okay not only here - but here much more than in other counties). Many people went to Tamar today t stage a huge protest again - they are waiting for answers from CY Leung (the so-called CE of Hong Kong since 1st of July 2012). Here a short info about that NATIONAL EDUCATION - this is from NEW YORK TIMES:
The city of Hong Kong, located off the southern coast of China, is a former British colony that was returned to Chinese sovereignty in 1997.
The transition has not always been an easy one for Hong Kong residents — especially in recent months. Pressing economic worries have contributed to public frustration that has been building, both with Beijing and with the political and economic system in Hong Kong since 1997, a system in which special interests controlled by a small circle of tycoons select the chief executive.
Fifteen years after the handover, Hong Kong faces a wide set of challenges: Property prices have soared to their highest levels since 1997; the gap between rich and poor, already the greatest in Asia, is at its highest level in four decades; air pollution continues to worsen; and no clear path has been presented to usher in a system to allow the public to directly elect leaders. Beijing has previously said that direct elections of the chief executive may be held as early as 2017, but has not provided any guarantees. 
In the summer of 2012, there were a number of demonstrations, including Hong Kong’s annual vigil for the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square killings in Beijing and a protest on the 15th anniversary of Hong Kong’s transfer from British control to Chinese rule. That protest coincided with the swearing-in of Hong Kong’s new Beijing-backed leader, Leung Chun-ying, on July 1.
In July, thousands of people took to the streets to protest the introduction of Chinese national education in Hong Kong schools. The new curriculum is similar to the so-called patriotic education taught in mainland China. The materials, including a handbook titled “The China Model,” describe the Communist Party as “progressive, selfless and united” and criticize multiparty systems, even though Hong Kong has multiple political parties.
Critics liken the curriculum to brainwashing and say that it glosses over major events like the Cultural Revolution and the Tiananmen Square crackdown. It will be introduced in some elementary schools in September and be mandatory for all public schools by 2016.
One point of contention is that many of the city’s governing elite send their children to the West or to expensive foreign-run international schools, which will be exempt from the national education. The curriculum will be mandatory for the public schools used by most of the working and middle classes.
In March 2012, the city’s political and business elite elected Mr. Leung, a real estate surveyor with close ties to Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party, as the new chief executive. But on the streets outside the convention center, where the election took place, hundreds of protesters voiced dismay at the voting process, worried about Mr. Leung’s allegiances and concerned that freedom of speech and a free media would face increasing scrutiny in the coming years.
On July 1, thousands of demonstrators thronged the streets again to protest the inauguration of Mr. Leung, who hours earlier had been sworn in as chief executive by President Hu Jintao of China. It was one of the largest political demonstrations in Hong Kong in the past decade — or even anywhere in China, since protests are banned on the mainland. The Hong Kong police said that the number of people at the beginning of the march had been 55,000. Organizers said that 400,000 people had participated.
Democracy activists contend that Mr. Leung is “a wolf in sheep’s clothing,” whose sympathies for the Chinese Communist Party may lead him to roll back some of the city’s cherished civil liberties — although Mr. Leung has denied that.
Much of the city’s anxiety is rooted in Hong Kong’s complex relationship with mainland China. Although the economy has become increasingly dependent on mainland visitors since 1997, Hong Kong retains significant cultural and political differences. Cantonese is the predominant Chinese dialect spoken in Hong Kong, not the Mandarin of the mainland.
Beijing guaranteed that Hong Kong’s civil liberties, which include independent courts and a free press, would be preserved for the first 50 years after the handover. But many in Hong Kong worry that their way of life is yielding to the flood of people coming from the mainland, either as tourists or immigrants, and to increasing business ties with mainland interests. Many also say that it is mainland visitors, coming to Hong Kong with large amounts of cash, who are fueling the property market’s soaring prices.
A recent poll by the University of Hong Kong’s Public Opinion Program found that 37 percent of Hong Kong residents mistrusted the central government in Beijing, the highest figure since 1997. The local news media have said that reports of human rights abuses on the mainland, like the extrajudicial detention of Chen Guangcheng, the rights advocate who has since been allowed to leave for the United States, have fed Hong Kong residents’ concerns about China.




CE calls for open attitude towards national education

August 31, 2012
Chief Executive CY Leung reiterated that the Government will not force through the introduction of the moral and national education subject in schools.
Speaking to the media at Tamar Government Offices today after visiting members of concern group Scholarism, Mr Leung said he and Secretary for Education Eddie Ng had paid a visit to students at the government headquarters, including those who were staging a hunger strike there.
He expressed concern for them to take care of their health and safety, particularly under a thunderstorm warning.
The committee to monitor the implementation of the moral and national education subject in schools will be consulted before any reference materials are introduced, Mr Leung said.
He urged people to adopt an open and pragmatic attitude towards this subject before the Government’s reference materials are available.


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