Secretary for Education
In April 2021, the Education Bureau (EDB) announced measures to optimise the four senior secondary core subjects, including Citizenship and Social Development (CS) in lieu of Liberal Studies (LS). Implementation of the optimising measures will start from Secondary 4 in the 2021/2022 school year. We hope to free up time and create space to better cater for learner diversity so that students can excel in studies, develop their talents and demonstrate their capabilities. Considering there are relatively more changes in the CS curriculum, the EDB has introduced a range of measures to support schools in different ways for the implementation of the subject.
Provision of Curriculum and Assessment Guide for Schools to Follow
Following the endorsement of the Citizenship and Social Development Curriculum and Assessment Guide (Curriculum and Assessment Guide) by the Curriculum Development Council (CDC), the EDB issued a circular memorandum to schools and uploaded the Guide to the EDB webpage today (2 June) for use by schools, marking the implementation of the subject in full steam. The CS 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”. Through studying issues related to Hong Kong, our country, and the contemporary world, students will be able to build a solid and broad knowledge base, and develop critical thinking, analytical reasoning and problem-solving skills. Their sense of national identity and global perspective can be fostered at the same time. These competencies and qualities are essential for them to live and work in the 21st century.
I am grateful for the professional leadership of the CDC and the CDC-HKEAA Committee on Citizenship and Social Development in preparing the Curriculum and Assessment Guide in the course of the reform. The EDB professional colleagues will provide schools with unflagging support, including the provision of teacher professional development programmes, as well as learning and teaching resources, for the implementation of the optimised curriculum.
Diversified Training Programmes to Enhance Teachers’ Professional Capacity
In the past few months, the EDB has organised a series of teacher training programmes related to CS. We will continue to organise a wide range of teacher professional development programmes, covering topics such as interpretation of the curriculum, curriculum planning and leadership, learning and teaching strategies, knowledge enrichment, and internal and public assessment. Online self-learning courses will also be provided to address teachers’ learning needs. Taking this month as an example, the EDB has invited four scholars, namely Prof Lau Chi-pang, Prof Lau Siu-kai, Prof Albert Chen Hung-yee and Dr Lee Hoey Simon, to be guest speakers of the "Enriching Knowledge Series” online seminars. Each seminar provides over 1,000 places and the footage and gist of the seminars will be uploaded to the EDB web-based resource platform for teachers’ reference.
In addition, CS is an interdisciplinary subject by nature. CS teachers will find relevance in some of the content of the professional development programmes organised by different sections of the EDB. Given that CS contains consolidated and streamlined content from LS with reference to the rationale and aims of LS, it is not a completely new subject. The incumbent LS teachers are professionally trained and experienced in teaching LS. It is believed that, with training and support provided, they can readily grasp the learning, teaching and assessment requirements of CS.
Development of Teaching Resources and Textbooks to Support Learning and Teaching of CS
To support the implementation of CS, the EDB is making every effort to develop a variety of learning and teaching resources, including presentation slides for teaching, illustrative examples for teachers' reference, worksheets, as well as online self-learning courses specifically designed for students. These resources will be uploaded continuously to the CS web-based resource platform for schools’ use. Furthermore, some of the LS teaching resources previously developed by the EDB are in line with the CS curriculum. Schools can continue to use these resources as appropriate.
Similar to other subjects, CS will be included in the textbook review mechanism soon to ensure the quality of textbooks and their adherence to the rationale, aims and learning focuses of the curriculum, and that they meet the learning, teaching and assessment requirements. The EDB has provided textbook writing guidelines for publishers to help them understand the curriculum framework, content and textbook writing criteria of CS. It is expected that the reviewed Secondary 4 to 5 textbooks will be published next year for schools’ adoption in the 2022/23 school year.
Organising Mainland Study Tours to Broaden Students’ Horizons
Our country has seen rapid development and gained significant global influence. Under "One Country, Two Systems”, Hong Kong is closely connected with our country. Mainland study tours are an integral part of the CS curriculum. They aim to provide opportunities for senior secondary students to see for themselves the history, culture, current affairs and development of our country. After the study tour, students are required to conduct project learning to demonstrate their learning outcomes and self-reflection. It will be a valuable learning experience that not only broadens students' horizons, but also helps them develop generic skills and the capability of thinking from different perspectives.
The EDB will actively organise diversified Mainland study tours that are in line with the aims of the CS curriculum for teachers to select appropriate ones for their students. Teachers and students participating in the tours will be subsidised by the EDB. Depending on the development of the COVID-19 pandemic and resumption of quarantine-free travel, we will organise the study tours and provide details in a timely manner.
Special Grants for Schools to Implement CS
In addition to the above-mentioned support measures, the EDB will provide a one-off grant of $300,000 to each public sector secondary school and Direct Subsidy Scheme secondary school in the 2021/2022 school year. Schools may spend the subsidy flexibly to support teaching and organise diversified learning activities, such as developing or purchasing learning and teaching resources, and organising school-based learning activities and joint school or cross-curricular activities, in accordance with their curriculum development and students’ learning needs.
The EDB has also discussed with secondary schools on issues regarding staffing arrangements. It has been gathered that schools can basically make staffing arrangements for LS and CS through internal deployment. We will continue to communicate with schools and provide relevant support.
Nurturing Students to Become Pillars of Society
Curriculum development is a continuous process of improvement and optimisation. I hope that all of us will follow through on the goals and work together to support the smooth implementation of CS and to help students keep up with the times, equip themselves to meet the expectations of society and become a new generation with a sense of national identity, an affection for Hong Kong and an international perspective to contribute to our country and Hong Kong.
2 June 2021