To brave the befalling rain and piercing wind

Chan Kwok-kuen
Director, Publication Department

Foreword: The third policy address announced by Chief Executive CY Leung in this mid-month was so politicized, yet many educational issues had not been timely addressed. More disappointing was that CY proposed in the coming three years the Administration would spend around 190 million dollars to enhance the number of primary and secondary sister schools in HK and mainland, and an extra 40 million dollars to financially support the youth exchange programs in the mainland. At the same time CY publicly criticized “Undergrad”, the official magazine of the Hong Kong University Students’ Union, which featured a cover story entitled “Hong Kong people deciding their own fate” in the 2014 February issue. This strongly implies that education is now serving the Authority. Associated with the recent incidents, we are worried about the political intervention in education, and the coming events cast their shadows before.

We all understand that the authoritarian government regards education as kind of political tool to manupulate ideology, and tries with the utmost effort to make education professionals to succumb to the Authority. The Chinese government of the mainland manipulates openly the education system to meet its political ends all the time, and we are aware that the political intervention in the education of HK is now no more invisible.

So many members of National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) attributed the “Umbrella Movement” to the lack of national education, which had been caused by the poor education policy and curriculum development. Chen Zuo-er, the former deputy director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office of the State Council, now a key Beijing adviser, even said that the SAR’s Secretary for Education should be subject to the central government’s scrutiny at all times. Lau Nai-keung, member of Basic Law Committee and Standing Committee of the NPC, also criticized that Hong Kong teachers and students did not have a correct understanding of the Basic Law. Eddie Ng, our head of the Education Bureau, fully clad in military uniform, was only a puppet in the ceremony of the Inauguration Ceremony of Army Cadet. These situations have revealed that the politicization of the local community had reached its zenith, and the political turbulences are about to happen in our campus.

From time to time we attach importance to the value of humanity in our education system, and we aim at students’ personal growth and self-actualization process, in which the students’ integrity can be shaped. It is totally different from the mainland authority, which only regards the education system as a political instrument, or the realization of party ideology. Therefore, under the principle of “one country two systems”, we have to defend for our professionalism and our core values of education.

If we pay attention to the current political situations, we will generally tell when something momentous is about to happen and the coming events cast their shadows before. Therefore, we should keep our vigilance and insist on our professional attitude. We stand to protect for our next generation, and do not allow any brutal intervention or political suppression in our schools. We will continue to monitor the HK Government, so that we can unite together to defend for the future of our young people.