When the Curriculum Development Council (CDC) (2012, p.i) introduced a proposed new school subject of Moral and National Education (MNE) to schools and the Hong Kong community, it noted that “since the return of sovereignty, promoting national education and enhancing students’ understanding of their country and national identity have become a common goal of primary and secondary schools”. The secretary of education responsible for implementing the new subject had no doubts about its importance as he indicated in a television interview (Ng, 2012):After 15 years of Hong Kong returning to the homeland, and I believe everyone actually at this point of time would realize it. Even a lot of people who said opposite to the programme these days, but if you ask them are you Chinese, they would categorically tell you, I am Chinese. This is the national pride, this is identity, this is the one we’re not shy, we’re not implicit to say, this is the one we’re looking for, identity, number one. (Emphasis added)This spirited defence of national identity building by the secretary did not save the new school subject that was eventually “shelved” by the government, with implementation encouraged but not mandatory for schools in Hong Kong. The reasons for this action by the government are not the subject of this chapter. There is a more important issue to pursue here, and it is that of national identity. Even though the school subject may have gone away, identity issues remain for individuals, for schools and for the society as a whole. What is more, such issues have been subject to much speculation (Lau, 1997, 2000; Brewer, 1999; Lee and Chan, 2005; Ma and Fung, 2007) and there is a need for greater clariﬁ cation. Copyright © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
|Title of host publication||Asia’s high performing education systems: The case of Hong Kong|
|Editors||Colin MARSH, John Chi-Kin LEE|
|Place of Publication||New York|
|ISBN (Electronic)||9780203499634, 9781135048754|
|Publication status||Published - 2014|