A new school year always brings new hopes. In the past two years, Hong Kong has experienced both social unrest and the COVID-19 epidemic. It has not come easy for schools to make steady progress towards normalcy and resume face-to-face classes under the right conditions. I believe that our students, school colleagues and parents will treasure this hard-earned opportunity for classroom learning. In the new school year, apart from offering continued support to schools regarding learning and teaching in various subject areas, the Education Bureau (EDB) will strengthen the promotion of values education and national education to nurture students to become the future pillars of society, who are knowledgeable and responsible, with love for the country and Hong Kong.
The EDB will continue to adopt a “multi-pronged and co-ordinated” approach to implement the education work in collaboration with schools. Various measures include continuously updating the curriculum guides, developing learning and teaching resources, providing teacher training and organising student activities.
Promote Values Education, Foster Holistic Development
As regards of values education, the EDB has set out a list of priority values and attitudes that schools should nurture in students, including "perseverance", "respect for others", "responsibility", "national identity", "commitment", "integrity" and "care for others". To keep up with the changes in society and student needs, "law-abidingness" and "empathy" were added as priority values and attitudes in 2020. Schools can also select other positive values and attitudes based on their school mission, school context and student needs for enhancing values education and fostering the whole-person development of students.
We will continue the theme “Be grateful and treasure what we have, stay positive and optimistic” in the new school year to encourage schools to create a positive learning atmosphere for promoting values education. Schools can promote learning activities related to values education by utilising the Life-wide Learning Grant offered by the EDB every year. They can also apply for the “My Pledge to Act – Be grateful and treasure what we have, stay positive and optimistic” Funding Programme under the Quality Education Fund for additional resources.
Progressive Approach to National Education, Integration into National Development
We are both citizens of Hong Kong and part of the country. Students should learn about the country through a progressive approach from an early age so that they can understand, experience and recognise who they are, thereby cultivating a sense of national identity among themselves with better understanding of their positions and a will to study hard for contribution to society and the country.
The 14th Five-Year Plan includes a part on the development of the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. In this part, there is the Dedicated Chapter on Hong Kong and Macao, which is highly relevant and important to us. The EDB has been strengthening national education, which covers education on the Constitution and the Basic Law, as well as national security education, with a view to enhancing students’ sense of belonging towards the country, facilitating their accurate understanding of the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”, and enabling them to learn about the history, culture, economy, technology and political system of the country in a comprehensive way within and beyond the classroom. Furthermore, exchange activities for schools, teachers and students to connect with their Mainland counterparts will be continuously enhanced to provide more opportunities for students to gain a better understanding of the situation and development of the country as well as to seize development opportunities at present and in the future.
Stepping up National Education on all Fronts with One-stop Portal
In the EDB circular memorandum issued today, we have compiled the National Education – Event Planning Calendar and provided suggestions to help schools organise school-based national education activities that foster students’ sense of national identity. The key dates listed in the calendar, including the Victory Day of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression, National Day, Constitution Day, Nanjing Massacre National Memorial Day, the Commemoration Day for the Promulgation of the Basic Law, National Security Education Day and May Fourth Youth Day, all serve as suitable opportunities for promoting national education.
Today, the EDB also launched the “National Education One-Stop Portal” (NEOSP) (www.edb.gov.hk/tc/neosp). The NEOSP provides a one-stop platform for teachers and students to browse learning and teaching resources as well as promotional activities related to national education. It covers themes such as the Constitution, the Basic Law and national security education, Chinese history and culture, and museum learning. Teachers can search for and use the latest information on relevant legal provisions, EDB circulars, teacher professional development programmes,
curriculum resources and student activities for
learning and teaching effectiveness.
The Students’ Page of the NEOSP provides a wide range of learning resources such as reading materials, videos, online games as well as virtual museum visits. While students are not able to participate in person in learning activities on the Mainland amid the epidemic, they can make use of the diversified online learning materials to gain a better understanding of our country and its development.
The thematic resource webpage of “Getting to Know the National Flag, the National Emblem, the National Anthem and the Regional Flag” introduces the origin, specifications and things to note for display of the national symbols, as well as provides school with examples of the national flag raising ceremony at school. The ceremonies of national flag raising and playing and singing of the national anthem conducted by schools are solemn and have educational value. The EDB has uploaded to the Training Calendar System information on national flag raising ceremony webinars to be conducted in September for primary, secondary and kindergarten teachers. We will continue to organise workshops for teachers on conducting the national flag raising ceremony and step up support for schools in cultivating in students a sense of belonging towards our country and a sense of national identity through regular ceremonies of national flag raising and anthem playing and singing.
Treasure Learning Opportunity, Cultivate Affection for Country
Since its return to the Motherland, Hong Kong has all along received tremendous support from our country in implementing the principle of "One Country, Two Systems". The upcoming 2021/22 school year coincides with the 25th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. This significant year offers a great opportunity to heighten students’ sense of national identity. The EDB will continue to work closely with the education sector and other sectors of the community to promote national education, enable students to gain a thorough understanding of the country, treasure its history and culture, and appreciate the opportunities arising from our country’s development as well as the advantages enjoyed by Hong Kong under the principle of “One Country, Two Systems”. Let’s work together for the prosperity of our country and Hong Kong and for a bright future!
26 August 2021