In today’s South China Morning Post, my letter appeared, the text of which is reproduced below:
Explain aim of national education
With the heated debate regarding the government’s proposed national education curriculum, too many people are jumping to knee-jerk conclusions without really understanding what shape a national education programme might take.
Indeed, the government prematurely asks the public for feedback without explaining to the public what, in fact, national education means.
China, as one of the world’s oldest civilisations, has much to offer us from studying its history. A truly comprehensive national education curriculum would not only celebrate this history but also critically analyse it, offering students the opportunity to arrive at their own conclusions and affording them a forum to share these conclusions in a discussion-based setting.
If fostering patriotism is one of the goals of this curriculum, this should be applauded. However, let us be clear that true patriotism creates a desire for continuous review and improvement of governance.
The government must make clear its intentions.
Are we seeking to enrich the next generation and provide them with the necessary tools to become the leaders of tomorrow or is the administration acting on instructions to cultivate conformity in thinking?
The latter will inevitably lead to political regression and intellectual stagnation.
Ali Ebrahim, Mid-Levels