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Thursday, September 15, 2016, 19:06

Consultation on amending history curriculum launched


HONG KONG – The Education Bureau (EDB) will launch a one-month consultation on amendments for the current history curriculum in an attempt to enhance history education for junior high school students.

The consultation, set to be carried out over one month, will have its first consultation forum on Sept 28 and 29. It will collect opinions from schools and teachers on suggestions put forward by the Curriculum Development Council under the EDB.

The suggestions include broadening the contents of the Chinese history curriculum to include more contemporary Chinese history, as well as to cover more social cultural history like arts, architecture, technology, religion and transportation.

In his Policy Address in 2015, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying put forward suggestions to update Hong Kong’s Chinese and world history curriculum, as a lot of schools skipped post-1949 Chinese history in their curriculum. In light of that, the EDB has listened to teachers’ opinions on the proposal by inviting them to focus groups and via school visits last November. The teachers, in general, agreed that the two curriculums need to be amended and reformed in order to provide a holistic history education to secondary school students.

The council suggested teaching Hong Kong history in parallel with Chinese history. The council noted that this would give students a complete picture of how the mainland and Hong Kong are connected in history and culture.

The council noted that the current Chinese history curriculum puts more weight on ancient history and gives less attention to contemporary history. Also, the Chinese history curriculum and the world history curriculum are taught separately and at different paces. That will be changed after the amendment as the two curriculums will be linked to each other, enabling students to understand how national and world history intertwined with each other more effectively.

As for the world history curriculum, the council proposed bringing back the history of the Islamic world and countries like the United States in order to make history education more relevant to the current world.

Chinese history and world history are compulsory at junior secondary level but optional at senior level in Hong Kong. Under the current practice, the two courses are conducted with different pacing. The council recommended coordinating the teaching progress of the two courses, so that students could effectively learn how China and the world influenced each other.

The second phase of the public consultation will commence in 2017.

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